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Canadian National Announces Rob Reilly as COO and Michael Foster as Executive Vice-President

General News

Canadian National (“CN”) announced the appointment, effective July 1st, of new executive vice-president and chief operating officer (“COO”) Rob Reilly, and the promotion, effective June 3rd, of Michael Foster to executive vice-president and chief information and technology officer.

Prior to his appointment as COO, Rob Reilly, 54, had 30 years of experience in the rail industry. He joined the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe Company (now known as BNSF) in 1989.  A graduate of Washburn University, Kansas, U.S., Rob completed the Executive Program at Stanford University. Rob’s 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.  His extensive leadership experience includes safety, rail operations, field application of rail technologies, and a deep understanding of the intermodal business at big ports and big terminals.

“I am very pleased to be joining CN, the industry leader among North American railroads and the pioneer of scheduled railroading.  I look forward to adding my experience to this already great team of scheduled railroaders,” said Rob Reilly, incoming executive vice-president and chief operating officer.

Michael Foster, 52, who joined CN in March 2018 as senior vice-president and chief information and technology officer, is promoted to executive vice-president and chief information and technology officer. He joined CN from FedEx and his background strongly positions him to apply artificial intelligence and data analytics to transportation logistics.  He has led the deployment of new technologies to enhance CN’s safe operations and the efficiency of supply chain services, while delivering on important technological advances such as Positive Train Control, automated track and train inspections, as well as mobile devices for frontline railroaders.

“At the heart of CN’s success is our focus on having the right talent in the right role strategically leading and moving forward as ONE TEAM,” said JJ Ruest, president and chief executive officer at CN. “Rob Reilly and Michael Foster will work closely with CN’s strong bench of very experienced scheduled railroaders to deliver operational excellence and implement technology as a driver for safety, customer and shareholder value. CN pioneered scheduled railroading and our vision is to be the first railroad to take it to the next level, using advanced information technology. These appointments are part of our strategy to enhance our scheduled railroading model.”

As part of these executive team changes, Mike Cory will retire as CN executive vice-president and chief operating officer on June 30th, 2019 and will remain available to ensure a smooth transition.

“It is with great pride that I am transitioning the leadership of my extremely dedicated and competent team of scheduled railroaders to Rob Reilly,” said Mike Cory. “The CN team has accomplished an enormous amount and I want to thank each one of them for their continued engagement in modernizing our operations and customer service. I have full confidence that while respecting what makes CN an industry leader today, this team will bring us to the next level. They are the future of CN.”

“Mike Cory had a tremendous 38-year career at CN. His unwavering commitment brought CN’s operational excellence to a new level. On behalf of the CN Board, his colleagues, and CN’s 27,000 railroaders, I would like to thank him for his 24-7 dedication to our company. I wish him the very best in his retirement,” concluded Ruest.

About Canadian National

CN is a true backbone of the economy transporting more than C$250 billion worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network of approximately 20,000 route-miles spanning Canada and mid-America. CN – Canadian National Railway Company, along with its operating railway subsidiaries – serves the cities and ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the metropolitan areas of Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg, Calgary, Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information about CN, visit the company’s website at


Paul Butcher – Vice President Investor Relations – (514) 399-0052

Source: Canadian National Railway Company