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CN President and Chief Executive Officer Claude Mongeau will step down at the end of June, the Class I announced this morning. Chief Financial Officer Luc Jobin has been named Mongeau's successor effective July 1.
Mongeau said he would leave the post due to health reasons. In January, he returned to work following a six-month medical leave after he was diagnosed with a rare type of tumor in his throat. During the leave, he underwent surgery to remove his larynx. "I was filled with joy returning at the helm earlier this year, but I gradually came to realize that it is difficult to fulfill such a demanding role given my new condition as a laryngectomee," Mongeau said in a prepared statement. "I sincerely thank the key members of my leadership team and my fellow CN directors for their understanding and support in the circumstances."Mongeau joined CN 22 years ago, served as CFO for 11 years and CEO for the past six and a half years. He has been one of the key architects of the company's "remarkable business transformation" in the early days toward its initial public offering in 1995, according to a CN press release."Facing up to a situation like this inevitably stirs a lot of emotions, but I step down from my role with a deep sense of pride and the firm conviction that CN remains in good hands and has a bright future," Mongeau said.CN's directors today unanimously appointed Jobin to succeed Mongeau as president, CEO and a member of CN's board.Jobin joined CN in 2009 as executive vice president and CFO, following a career as senior executive at Imasco, Imperial Tobacco, British American Tobacco and Power Corp. Jobin coordinated CN's leadership team during Mongeau's medical leave."Luc and the senior leadership team are well prepared to carry on delivering CN's agenda of operational and service excellence," said CN Chairman Robert Pace. "With its unique three-coast network, its diversified business franchise and its workforce of 23,000 highly talented railroaders, CN remains very well positioned for the future."Although Mongeau will be available to assist during the transition, he will be "dearly missed," Pace said."[Mongeau's] bold innovation agenda, centered on true supply-chain collaboration and solid customer service, has set CN on a path of sustainable value-creation for many years to come and we warmly thank him for that contribution on behalf of all our stakeholders," said Pace.Last month, Progressive Railroading and RailTrends® named Mongeau the 2016 recipient of the "Railroad Innovator Award," which recognizes an individual's outstanding achievement in the rail industry.
In the late 1990s and through the 2000s, Mongeau helped shape and drive the rail-acquisition strategy — from the 1998 Illinois Central Corp. acquisition to the 2009 Elgin, Joliet and Eastern Railway Co. deal — that extended CN's North American reach. And during his tenure as CEO, he has instilled a focus on supply-chain collaboration, keeping the Class I on the service improvement track while the railroad remains razor sharp on the operational execution front.