CN CEO Jean-Jacques (JJ) Ruest to retire

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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CN CEO JJ Ruest is retiring.
Canadian National

CN announced on October 19 that Jean-Jacques (JJ) Ruest will retire as president and chief executive officer and as a member of the Board of Directors of the Company, effective as of the end of January 2022, or such later time as a successor has been appointed to ensure a flawless transition.

“On behalf of the Board, I would like to thank JJ for his dedicated service to CN over 25 years and as CEO since 2018. He has provided the company and all of our stakeholders with strong and inspired leadership.   JJ deferred discussions on his retirement plans in order to see the Company through the potential merger with KCS and closing of the transaction, and the introduction of the strategic plan announced on September 17th, 2021, which is beginning to demonstrate results.  We are grateful for his leadership and his exemplary commitment of service to the Company and wish him all the best in his upcoming retirement.” 

Robert Pace, Chair of CN’s Board of Directors

“I have been honored to lead CN during my time as chief executive officer, and I am confident that the Company is well positioned to continue to thrive following my retirement. The strength of the Company’s management team and Board allow me to announce my planned retirement knowing that the Company we have built will continue to prosper.”  

JJ Ruest, President and Chief Executive Officer

The Board has appointed a CEO Search Committee consisting of the following Board members to conduct the global search and make recommendations to the full Board.  

Shauneen Bruder
Chair of Search Committee and Chair of the Governance, Sustainability and Safety Committee
Retired Executive Vice-President, Operations, Royal Bank of Canada
Justin M. HowellSenior Investment Manager, Cascade Asset Management Co., asset manager for Cascade Investment, L.L.C.
Robert L. Phillips, Chair of the Audit, Finance and Risk Committee
Retired Chief Executive Officer, British Columbia Railway Company
The Hon. Kevin G. Lynch
Chair of the Human Resources and Compensation Committee
Retired Vice Chair, BMO Financial Group, and Former Clerk of the Privy Council, Government of Canada

The Search Committee is working with, Korn Ferry, a leading executive search firm to conduct a global search for Mr. Ruest’s successor and will consider all qualified internal and external candidates.  

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