Ruest rises to CN President and CEO

Written by William C. Vantuono, Editor-in-Chief
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JJ Ruest

CN Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jean-Jacques Ruest, a 22-year veteran of the railroad who has been serving as Interim President and Chief Executive Officer since March 5, 2018, has been appointed President and CEO, effective immediately. Ruest has also been appointed to CN’s Board of Directors.

“In JJ, we have the best,” said CN Board Chairman Robert Pace. “He brings vision, energy and speed to the role. JJ brought the team together to tackle the immediate operational and customer service challenges the company has been facing since the fall of 2017. Following a global search, the Board concluded that JJ is the right leader to accelerate CN’s innovation strategy, to lead the company forward, and to restore and retain industry-leading metrics and best-in-class customer service.”

Ruest, 63, was name EVP and Chief Marketing Officer in January 2010. As CMO, he had responsibility for providing the strategic direction and leadership for CN’s Sales, Marketing and CN Supply Chain Solutions groups. Ruest joined CN in 1996 as Vice President, Petroleum and Chemicals. He was appointed Vice President, Industrial Products in 2003; Vice-President, Marketing in 2004; and Senior Vice President, Marketing in June 2006. Prior to this, he worked for 16 years at a major international chemical company.

“I am very proud to be a CN railroader, and I am honored and humbled by the Board’s confidence in me and the entire leadership team,” said Ruest. “CN’s leadership team and I are committed to re-establishing best-in-class operational excellence on a sustainable basis; to growing the value of the company, and to building the CN brand. We will do so by investing in human capital, efficient and effective digitization, and infrastructure that will drive future growth. We will write the next chapter in CN’s history as we embark on our second century of serving customers safely and efficiently.”

Ruest holds a Masters in Business Administration in Marketing from HEC Montréal (Université de Montréal) and a Bachelor of Science degree in applied chemistry from Université de Sherbrooke. He also completed the executive program of the University of Michigan Business School, and CN’s Railroad MBA program.

Ruest was appointed Interim President and CEO following Luc Jobin’s resignation in March.

JJ Ruest was keynote speaker at Railway Age’s Railfreight Business Development Conference in March.

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