CEO and Direct Reports


Meet our company officers

Team

  • JEAN-JACQUES RUEST President and Chief Executive Officer
  • SEAN FINN Executive Vice-President, Corporate Services and Chief Legal Officer
  • GHISLAIN HOULE Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer
  • DOMINIQUE MALENFANT Executive Vice-President and Chief Information and Technology Officer
  • ROB REILLY Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer
  • JAMES CAIRNS Senior Vice-President, Rail Centric Supply Chain
  • DOROTHEA KLEIN Senior Vice-President and Chief Human Resources Officer
  • DOUG MACDONALD Senior Vice-President, Office of the President and CEO, Special Projects
  • KEITH REARDON Senior Vice-President, Consumer Product Supply Chain
  • PAUL BUTCHER Vice-President, Investor Relations
  • MARLENE PUFFER President and Chief Executive Officer, CN Investment Division
Jean-Jacques Ruest

JEAN-JACQUES RUEST

President and Chief Executive Officer

Jean-Jacques Ruest was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer in July 2018, after having served as Interim President and CEO since March 2018.

JEAN-JACQUES RUEST

President and Chief Executive Officer

Jean-Jacques Ruest was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer in July 2018, after having served as Interim President and CEO since March 2018. He was previously Executive Vice-President and Chief Marketing Officer since January 2010, with responsibility for providing the strategic direction and leadership for CN's Sales, Marketing and CN Supply Chain Solutions groups.

Mr. Ruest joined CN in 1996 at the time of the privatization. Prior to this, Mr. Ruest worked for 16 years at a major international chemical company.

Mr. 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, and CN's Railroad MBA program.

Over the course of his career, Mr. Ruest has been honoured many times by the business community, notably as 2019 Railroader of the Year and an Inductee to the International Maritime Hall of Fame in 2017.

Sean Finn

SEAN FINN

Executive Vice-President, Corporate Services and Chief Legal Officer

Sean Finn was appointed Executive Vice-President, Corporate Services and Chief Legal Officer in December 2008. He is responsible for a wide array of legal, government, regulatory, public affairs, risk mitigation and security matters.

SEAN FINN

Executive Vice-President, Corporate Services and Chief Legal Officer

Sean Finn was appointed Executive Vice-President, Corporate Services and Chief Legal Officer in December 2008. He is responsible for a wide array of legal, government, regulatory, public affairs, risk mitigation and security matters.

Mr. Finn joined CN in January 1994 and led the Company's corporate tax function while being involved extensively in CN's privatization in November 1995. He was appointed Treasurer and Principal Tax Counsel in August 1996, Vice-President, Treasurer and Principal Tax Counsel in January 2000, Senior Vice-President, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary in December 2000, and Senior Vice-President, Public Affairs, Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary in February 2003. As Corporate Secretary, he is actively involved and responsible for CN's Corporate Governance Practices and the implementation of the CN Business Code of Conduct.

Prior to joining CN, Mr. Finn was the managing tax partner with the Montreal law firm Lavery, de Billy, where he was involved in domestic and international tax planning, cross-border financing, and corporate financing and reorganizations.

Mr. Finn graduated from the faculty of law of the University of Montreal in 1981 and completed a Masters degree in tax law at the University of Toronto in 1983. He was admitted to the Quebec Bar in 1983.

Mr. Finn was named Tax Lawyer of the Year 2000 by his peers. He is former Chairman of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce (2006-2007) and of the Quebec Chamber of Commerce (2002-2003). He was also the mayor of the City of Saint-Lambert, Quebec from 2005 to 2009. Mr. Finn was a lecturer for 20 years in tax legislation and policy for the masters in taxation at Université de Sherbrooke and for the graduate diploma in taxation at McGill University. He is currently a board member of the YMCA Foundation of Greater Montreal (since 2000), the Montreal Children's Hospital Foundation and Chairman of the Corporate Campaign (since 2005), as well as Swimming Canada (since October 2008).

Ghislain Houle

GHISLAIN HOULE

Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer

Ghislain Houle was appointed Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer in July 2016, based in Montreal. His responsibilities at CN include financial management and strategic planning.

GHISLAIN HOULE

Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer

Ghislain Houle was appointed Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer in July 2016, based in Montreal. His responsibilities at CN include financial management, strategic planning and strategic acquisitions. Previously, he had been Vice-President and Corporate Comptroller since March 2016, and Vice-President – Financial Planning since March 2007.

Mr. Houle joined CN in September 1997 as Chief of Internal Audit. In July 1998, he was appointed Managing Director, ISP Project, a three-year initiative to improve business processes by replacing CN's administrative support systems with the SAP integrated solution. He became Vice-President and Treasurer in 2001 and in 2004, he was responsible for the integration of the Business Development Group with CN Railway Properties, which he already managed since November 2002.

Prior to joining CN, Mr. Houle held the position of Senior Manager in tax and audit at a major accounting firm.

Mr. Houle is a CPA, CA and holds a bachelor of commerce degree from Laval University and an MBA from McGill University.

Dominique Malenfant

DOMINIQUE MALENFANT

Executive Vice-President and Chief Information and Technology Officer

Dominique Malenfant was appointed Executive Vice-President and Chief Information and Technology Officer in September 2020.

DOMINIQUE MALENFANT

Executive Vice-President and Chief Information and Technology Officer

Dominique Malenfant was appointed Executive Vice-President and Chief Information and Technology Officer in September 2020. Based in Montreal, Dominique is responsible to deliver CN’s technology strategy, with a focus on automation technology and the digitalization of CN’s network and operations.

Dominique has spent nearly 30 years in global leadership roles in the transportation and rail industries. In his most recent role, Dominique was Senior Vice-President, Engineering and Chief Technology Officer at Wabtec Corporation. Prior to his position at Wabtec Corporation, Dominique held the position of Vice-President of Global Technology at GE Transportation. During his tenure at Wabtec Corporation and GE Transportation, Dominique was focused on the next generation of Precision Scheduled Railroading and Positive Train Control technologies and spearheaded a major digital industrial evolution in rail.

Previous to GE Transportation, Dominique served as Vice-President of Product and Engineering for the Transportation Propulsion and Control Business at Bombardier Transport. He also managed Bombardier Transport’s North American group, where he was responsible for Product Management, Engineering and Supply Management. He also led the Center of Expertise R&D group, and has experience in Plant Management, Engineering Quality Assurance, Systems Engineering, and Project Management.

Dominique holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from Laval University, Quebec.

Robert Reilly

Rob Reilly

Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer

Rob Reilly was appointed Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer in July 2019, based in Montreal.  He has also assumed interim responsibility for CN’s Information and Technology function since November 2019.

Rob Reilly

Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer

Rob Reilly was appointed Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer in July 2019, based in Montreal. He has also assumed interim responsibility for CN’s Information and Technology function since November 2019.

Joining CN with 30 years of experience in the rail industry, Mr. Reilly is responsible for CN’s 24/7 operations overseeing about 20,000 railroaders from the Transportation, Engineering, Mechanical, Network Operations and Safety groups across North America. Mr. Reilly brings to the Company extensive leadership in safety, rail operations, field application of rail technologies, and a deep understanding of the intermodal business at major ports and large terminals

Prior to his role at CN, Mr. Reilly joined the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Company (now known as BNSF) in 1989. A graduate of Washburn University, Kansas, U.S., he completed the Executive Program at Stanford University. His career in the railway industry has taken him across the U.S. in a succession of increasingly senior positions, most notably in Chicago and the U.S. west coast.

James Cairns

JAMES CAIRNS

Senior Vice-President, Rail Centric Supply Chain

James Cairns was appointed Senior Vice-President, Rail Centric Supply Chain in April 2019.

JAMES CAIRNS

Senior Vice-President, Rail Centric Supply Chain

James Cairns was appointed Senior Vice-President, Rail Centric Supply Chain in April 2019.

He oversees the execution and expansion of CN’s bulk and merchandise carload businesses, leading the commercial teams and non-rail operations in his supply chains, and adapting all last-mile services for customers.

In this role, Mr. Cairns is responsible for CN's grain, fertilizers, sulphur and coal businesses as well as for petroleum and chemicals, forest products, and metals and minerals. Prior to his appointment, Mr. Cairns was Vice-President, Petroleum and Chemicals since March 2010 and Assistant Vice-President of CN's domestic intermodal since 2006.

Mr. Cairns joined CN in 1988 as a train order operator, before being promoted to rail traffic controller and then to team leader with CN's Customer Service Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He entered the Sales and Marketing world in 1997 as an Intermodal account manager in Toronto, and was promoted to director, Intermodal Sales in 1999. Mr. Cairns then successively held senior positions in Intermodal Wholesale, Petroleum & Plastics Marketing, and IMX operations.

Mr. Cairns holds a Bachelor degree in Business Administration from the University of Winnipeg and an MBA from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario.

Dorothea Klein

DOROTHEA KLEIN

Senior Vice-President and Chief Human Resources Officer

Dorothea Klein was appointed Senior Vice-President and Chief Human Resources Officer in December 2019.

DOROTHEA KLEIN

Senior Vice-President and Chief Human Resources Officer

Dorothea Klein was appointed Senior Vice-President and Chief Human Resources Officer in December 2019.

She came to CN from ABB, where she was most recently Senior Vice-President, Human Resources of the Electrification Business that counts over 50,000 employees.

Dorothea has an extensive human resources, finance and M&A background, having served other large North American and European companies in various industries, notably pharmaceuticals and healthcare, over the past 30 years. With this experience, she brings valuable cross-functional leadership and workforce transformation skills to CN.

Based in Montreal, she leads CN’s continuing journey of being a best-in-class employer by overseeing leading human resources and labour relations practices.

Dorothea is a graduate of Business Administration at the University of Reutlingen ESB Business School, Germany, and the CESEM-NEOMA business school in Reims, France. She also completed Executive Management programs at LSU in Baton Rouge, USA, as well as Wharton and INSEAD.

Doug MacDonald

DOUG MACDONALD

Senior Vice-President, Office of the President and CEO, Special Projects

Doug MacDonald was appointed Senior Vice-President, Office of the President and CEO, Special Projects in September 2020.

DOUG MACDONALD

Senior Vice-President, Office of the President and CEO, Special Projects

Doug MacDonald was appointed Senior Vice-President, Office of the President and CEO, Special Projects in September 2020.

Since December 2019, Doug led CN’s advanced technology deployments as Senior Vice-President, Information and Technology. Prior to his leadership responsibilities within Information and Technology, Doug spent time in Operations as Vice-President, Eastern Region since March 2019. During the course of his career at CN, Doug assumed roles in Sales and Marketing as Senior Vice-President, Rail Centric Supply Chain Growth in August 2018, Vice-President, Bulk in March 2016, Vice-President Industrial Products in May 2012, and Vice-President Corporate Marketing in March 2010.

Doug joined CN in 1989 and his career progression through diverse roles in Marketing, Sales, Information Technology and Operations has equipped him with a unique knowledge of the organization and honed a results-driven, open and team-oriented leadership style.

Doug holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Mathematics and Computer Science from Concordia University, in Montreal.

Keith Reardon

KEITH REARDON

Senior Vice-President, Consumer Product Supply Chain

Keith Reardon was appointed Senior Vice-President, Consumer Product Supply Chain, in August 2018, based in Toronto.

KEITH REARDON

Senior Vice-President, Consumer Product Supply Chain

Keith Reardon was appointed Senior Vice-President, Consumer Product Supply Chain in August 2018, based in Toronto. He is responsible for the execution and expansion of CN’s intermodal and automotive businesses, leading the commercial teams and non-rail operations in his supply chains, and adapting all last-mile services for customers. Mr. Reardon oversees all aspects of the Company’s domestic and international intermodal and automotive activities, as well as freight forwarding services in North America and Asia, and CN’s Supply Chain Sales groups, corporate revenue planning, and business development.

Prior to his appointment, he had been Vice-President of Intermodal and Automotive since January of 2017. In 2012, Mr. Reardon was named Vice-President of Intermodal Services. In 2009, Mr. Reardon was appointed Vice-President of Supply Chain Solutions, where he was responsible for the Automotive and Iron Ore business units and CN’s non-rail transportation services including transloading, freight forwarding and warehousing, just to name a few. He also directed many supply chain and business development initiatives for CN – working closely with CN customers and partners. Previously, he was Assistant Vice-President of CN Transloading Operations, where he managed more than 80 CN-owned warehousing and distribution facilities.

Passionate about logistics, Mr. Reardon has more than 25 years of experience in the field; he also held senior positions with outside firms in the world of logistics for a number of years. Mr. Reardon holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Marketing and an MBA from the University of North Florida.

Paul Butcher

PAUL BUTCHER

Vice-President, Investor Relations

Paul Butcher was appointed Vice-President, Investor Relations in July 2016.

PAUL BUTCHER

Vice-President, Investor Relations

Paul Butcher was appointed Vice-President, Investor Relations in July 2016. In this role, he leads the Company’s investor engagement initiatives and communications and he serves as corporate spokesperson and first point of contact with shareholders, sell-side analysts and the broader investment community. Prior to his most recent appointment, Paul had been Senior Manager of Investor Relations since November 2009.

Paul joined CN in 1993, initially working as a project officer in Financial Planning before moving to Marketing in 1999, serving in the Revenue Planning, Metals and Minerals, as well as Intermodal groups. He was involved in key growth projects at CN such as the new container port at the Port of Prince Rupert, among others.

Before joining CN, Paul worked two years as an economist in Ottawa at Informetrica Limited.

Paul holds a Bachelor and Masters degree in Economics from the University of Montreal.

Paul serves on the board of the Quebec Chapter of the Canadian Investor Relations Institute since 2017.

Marlene Puffer

MARLENE PUFFER

President and Chief Executive Officer, CN Investment Division

Marlene Puffer was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the CN Investment Division, which manages one of the largest corporate pension funds in Canada, in March 2018.

MARLENE PUFFER

President and Chief Executive Officer, CN Investment Division

Marlene Puffer was appointed President and Chief Executive Officer of the CN Investment Division, which manages one of the largest corporate pension funds in Canada, in March 2018.

She has over 25 years of experience in investments, pensions and capital markets. She was previously the Chief Strategist at BCA Research, a global leader in independent macro investment strategy, the President and Founder of Twist Financial, an independent consulting firm, and the Chief Investment Officer at NAV CANADA Pension Plan.

Marlene is former vice-chair of the Board of the Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan.

She earned a Ph.D. in Finance and Applied Statistics and a M.Sc. in Business Administration from the Simon Business School at the University of Rochester, as well as master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Economics from the University of Toronto. Marlene holds a CFA charter and the ICD.D designation granted by the Institute of Corporate Directors.




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