MONTREAL, QUÉBEC, CANADA —Canadian National Railway (CN) is making changes in leadership with a goal to drive cost efficiencies and capacity utilization initiatives, while advancing its supply chain mindset and customer focus.

“Amid solid market demand, we aim to grow faster than the broader economy,” said JJ Ruest chief executive officer (CEO). “These outstanding CN leaders will enhance our precision scheduled railroad model — one we developed and that redefined the industry — to new levels of operating efficiency and superior supply chain customer service. Our ONE TEAM is acting with a sense of urgency, aligning with a dynamic marketplace, utilizing CN’s expanding capacity, and deploying technology in pursuit of new cost efficiencies and increased safety.”

Doug MacDonald and Keith Reardon, two veteran commercial leaders, will head CN’s sales and marketing initiatives and all non-rail supply chain operations, such as intermodal container terminals and transload facilities, to produce solid supply chain services that compete across all markets.

John Orr, an operator across CN’s three regions, has been named senior vice-president and chief transportation officer responsible for CN’s day-to-day rail operations, to push network velocity, drive cost leadership, and increase production in gross ton miles (GTMs).    

“Our talented people set CN apart,” Ruest said. “With decades of experience executing our proven operating model, Doug, Keith and John together strengthen our ability to meet the demands of our customers. These appointments, from within our ranks, show the leadership depth throughout the company, as we remain focused on long-term succession planning and development of future CN leaders.”

MacDonald, previously vice-president of bulk, becomes senior vice-president, rail centric supply chain growth, overseeing the execution and expansion of bulk and merchandise carload businesses. Reardon, previously vice-president of intermodal and automotive, becomes senior vice-president, consumer product supply chain growth, overseeing the execution and expansion of intermodal and automotive businesses.

Reporting directly to the president and CEO, MacDonald and Reardon will lead the commercial teams and non-rail operations in their respective supply chains, incorporating CN’s 23 intermodal terminals, 31 transload and Cargoflo facilities, four Great Lakes bulk docks, 18 Autoport locations, and more than 1,100 truck owner-operators.

In these new roles, they will directly manage their supply chain performance and have the ability to effectively adapt all last-mile services for customers. 

Reporting directly to Mike Cory, executive vice-president and chief operating officer, Orr will lead day-to-day scheduled railroad operations in the field across CN’s three regions and the network operations group, driving core system transportation decisions. Orr, most recently senior vice-president of CN’s Southern Region, will focus on the velocity of assets, cost efficiency, safety, and increasing GTM production as CN looks to move higher volumes.

As chief operating officer, Cory continues to oversee all CN railway operations. Cory also will focus his leadership on the transformation of CN’s engineering and mechanical functions and the strategic widespread implementation of new technology in the field to maximize network resiliency and safety.

Derek Taylor, previously general manager of CN’s Southern Region Operations Center, has been promoted to vice-president of CN’s Southern Region, based in Homewood, Illinois, U.S.