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Rail News: Canadian National Railway - CN

CN's Tellier challenges corporations to set higher standards

Paul Tellier believes chief executives need to adjust their short-term orientation, and develop a more balanced focus between near-term profits and long-term returns.

Speaking before The Empire Club of Canada in Toronto Oct. 17, Canadian National Railway Co.'s president and chief executive officer addressed ways corporations can improve their governance, calling on chairmen to remove under-performing directors, and challenging corporate boards to take a more activist approach to their duties, holding discussions in place of endless management presentations.

"Removing a non-performing director is an extremely important but also very difficult and delicate task … shareholders have the right to demand the highest levels of performance from their directors," he said, adding that institutional investors should consider corporate integrity when investing.

However, Tellier believes government regulations can't foster corporate integrity.

"No law, regulation or guideline could have prevented what happened at Enron, WorldCom or Tyco," he said. "The market should drive the desire of companies to set the highest standards of integrity, transparency and corporate responsibility."

To ensure its own corporate integrity, CN plans to review its existing policies to attain best governance practices.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

More News from 10/18/2002