Jim Vena appointed CN executive vice-president and chief operating officer

Feb 19, 2013, 11:53 ET from CN

MONTREAL, Feb. 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ - Claude Mongeau, president and chief executive officer of CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI), announced today the promotion of Jim Vena to the position of CN executive vice-president and chief operating officer.

Mongeau said: "I am pleased to welcome Jim Vena to CN's Leadership Team as our new chief operating officer. Jim has a wealth of railway experience and strong leadership skills. I am confident that he will help us drive our agenda of Operational and Service Excellence forward."

Vena, 54, will be based in Montreal. Replacing him as senior vice-president, Southern Region in Homewood, Ill., will be Jeff Liepelt, 53, who is currently senior vice-president, Eastern Region.

Vena said: "I am honoured to lead a very talented group of railroaders. CN is in many ways leading the railway industry with a strong customer focus. I look forward to helping the team continue to build momentum in delivering our bold agenda."

Vena joined CN in 1977 as a brakeman in Jasper, Alta. He has held progressively responsible assignments in CN operations and marketing and led all three of CN's operating regions.

Liepelt also started his railroading career as a brakeman when he joined the Illinois Central Railroad (IC) in 1978, and has held positions of increasing responsibility at CN. The IC was acquired by CN in 1999. A replacement for Liepelt as leader of CN's Eastern Region will be named shortly.

Finally, in the context of CN's leadership transition, Sameh Fahmy, senior vice-president, Engineering, Mechanical and Supply Management, 61, will retire from CN on March 31, 2013. The three functions under Fahmy's responsibility will report directly to Vena at that time.

Mongeau said: "I want to thank Sameh for his loyal service, tireless energy and the significant value he contributed to CN over the 23 years he worked with us. I wish him the very best in the next phase of his life."

CN - Canadian National Railway Company and its operating railway subsidiaries - spans Canada and mid-America, from the Atlantic and Pacific oceans to the Gulf of Mexico, serving the ports of Vancouver, Prince Rupert, B.C., Montreal, Halifax, New Orleans, and Mobile, Ala., and the key metropolitan areas of Toronto, Buffalo, Chicago, Detroit, Duluth, Minn./Superior, Wis., Green Bay, Wis., Minneapolis/St. Paul, Memphis, St. Louis, and Jackson, Miss., with connections to all points in North America. For more information on CN, visit the company's website at www.cn.ca.