Photo courtesy of CN.
“In JJ, we have the best,” said Robert Pace, chairman of the board. “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.”
Ruest has been with the company for 22 years, including the last eight as executive vice-president and chief marketing officer.
“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,” Ruest said. “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 was appointed interim president and CEO on March 5, in addition to retaining his position as executive vice-president and CMO, to which he had been named in January 2010.
“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,” Pace said.
As CMO, Ruest was responsible for providing the direction and leadership for CN’s sales, marketing and CN Supply Chain Solutions groups.
Ruest joined CN in 1996 as vice-president of petroleum and chemicals. He was appointed vice-president of industrial products in 2003, vice-president of marketing, in 2004, and senior vice-president of marketing in June 2006. Before joining CN Ruest worked for 16 years at an international chemical company.
Ruest has a bachelor’s degree in applied chemistry from Université de Sherbrooke and a master’s degree in marketing from HEC Montréal (Université de Montréal). He also completed the executive program of the University of Michigan Business School, and CN's Railroad MBA program.