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CN's Jobin steps down, Ruest named interim CEO

Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jean-Jacques Ruest will serve as CN's interim president and CEO until a permanent replacement is named.
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CN is searching for a new chief executive officer today after announcing the abrupt departure of Luc Jobin.

The Class I announced this morning that Jobin has left the company and is being replaced on an interim basis by Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Jean-Jacques Ruest until a permanent leader is named.

Ruest has been with the company for 22 years, the past eight as EVP and CMO.

"The board believes the company needs a leader who will energize the team, realize CN's corporate vision and take the company forward with the speed and determination CN is known for," said Chairman Robert Pace. "Mr. Ruest is well known to customers and investors, and is well positioned to focus the company and its very experienced and proven team of railroaders to rapidly address operational challenges during the transition."

A company press release did not state a reason for Jobin's departure. However, the release stated that the board "believes in an increasingly competitive marketplace, CN must respond with speed and innovation to retain its leadership position."

"The board also recognizes the immediate operational and customer service challenges the company has been facing since fall 2017 — led by high demand and insufficient network resiliency, coupled with severe winter weather conditions," the statement continued.

"CN must accelerate execution of the innovation strategy articulated at our Investor Day last June," added Pace. "The board is confident this remains the right course to restore and retain industry-leading metrics and best-in-class customer service."

CN remains confident about its future prospects — despite more difficult winter conditions and a challenging start to 2018, company officials said.

They reiterated CN's fiscal-year 2018 guidance to deliver adjusted diluted earnings per share of CA$5.25 to CA$5.40 this year. Additionally, the company will continue plans this year for a record capital expenditures program of CA$3.2 billion.

Contact Progressive Railroading editorial staff.

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