Jean-Jacques Ruest has been named president and CEO of Canadian National (CN), effective immediately, by the railroad’s Board of Directors. Ruest has also been appointed to a position on the board.
Ruest has been serving as president and CEO on an interim basis since March 5, when the railroad announced the departure of Luc Jobin. He will retain the position of executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, a role he has filled for the past eight years.
“In JJ, we have the best. 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 was facing since the fall of 2017,” said Board Chairman Robert Pace.
He continued, “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, came to CN 22 years ago as vice-president, Petroleum and Chemicals from an international chemical company. He has served CN as vice president, Industrial Products, vice-president, Marketing and senior vice-president, Marketing before being named CMO in January 2010.
“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, as well as CN’s Railroad MBA program.