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CN Announces COO Succession and Evolution of Operating Structure

MONTREAL, Oct. 18, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- CN (TSX: CNR) (NYSE: CNI) today announced the appointment of Patrick Whitehead as Executive Vice-President and Chief Network Operating Officer and the appointment of Derek Taylor as Executive Vice-President and Chief Field Operating Officer. Their appointments are effective as of November 15. Pat and Derek will succeed Ed Harris who will take on a consultant role until March 31, 2024, to ensure a seamless transition.

The evolution of CN’s operations organization recognizes the distinction in focus and capabilities between the development of the plan, including building our network for the future, and the day-to-day demands of safely executing the plan. The innovative structure will help drive a greater intensity in delivering profitable growth through the cost-effective expansion of CN’s network infrastructure, where needed, and ongoing improvements to customer service as the Company sells into its capacity. It will also allow for the simultaneous refinement of CN’s long-term fleet plan, reflecting the Company’s decarbonization ambitions, and the continued deployment of operating technologies to enhance safety and efficiency.

Pat will "make the plan" as he takes on leadership of Network Operations, Mechanical, Engineering, and the corporate safety team, including CN’s two operations training centers. Derek will “run the plan” with system-wide leadership for Transportation and Intermodal Operations. CN intends to continue to refine this structure over time to align additional responsibilities under both roles as future phases of the transformation are executed. A key deliverable for both Pat and Derek is the ongoing development of talent, as CN continues to ensure it is the employer of choice by becoming more modern, innovative, and reflective of the diversity of the communities in which it operates.

"I am very pleased to appoint Pat and Derek to these enterprise leadership roles. These appointments are the next evolution of our 'Make the Plan, Run the Plan, Sell the Plan’ operating model. With this new structure and leadership in place, we are well-positioned to achieve the sustainable, profitable growth outlined in our 2024-2026 plan. I want to thank Ed for his significant contribution to CN and to the railroad industry over the last 50 years and for his collaboration in imagining and developing the evolution of the operating team structure. Pat and Derek were privileged to learn directly from him. His legacy is in the best hands."

- Tracy Robinson, President and Chief Executive Officer

"Pat and Derek are accomplished railroaders with over half a century of combined experience. Their proven track records of cooperating and leading complementary teams serve as a model of cross-functional integration and collaboration. I am confident that they are up to the task of evolving CN’s scheduled railroading model to sustain growth while ensuring the efficient day-to-day safe execution of the plan."

- Ed Harris, Outgoing Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer

Pat and Derek will be based in CN’s operational centers in Edmonton and Chicago respectively. They will also have offices in Montreal where they will spend a part of their time.

Biographical Notes
Patrick, 48, is responsible for making CN’s operational plan. Based at CN’s operational center in Edmonton, AB, Pat is an accomplished executive with over 30 years of railroad experience, over 25 of which have been in management positions in Transportation and Mechanical operations. He joined CN in 2021 as General Manager in Chicago. Prior to joining CN, Patrick was Vice-President, Transportation for Norfolk Southern Railway. Patrick was appointed Senior Vice-President, Network Operations in June 2022. Patrick will complete the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business Advanced Management Program on October 20th. Patrick holds a Master of Science degree in Transportation Management from the University of Denver and is currently taking French classes.

Derek, 46, is responsible for running CN’s operational plan. Based at CN’s operational center in Homewood, IL, Derek is a proven strong leader in Transportation with over 20 years of experience at CN. He joined the Company as a Management Trainee in Winnipeg, MB, in 2000 and since then has held progressively more senior leadership roles across the organization. He served as General Manager in Fond du Lac, WI, and in Homewood, IL, and was Vice-President, Transportation, for the Southern and Eastern Regions at different times. As Vice-President, Operational Excellence in 2022, he was responsible for driving continuous improvement across CN’s key operating metrics. Derek was appointed Senior Vice-President, Transportation in November 2022. Derek, who is currently taking French classes, holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from DePauw University in Indiana.

About CN
CN is a world-class transportation leader and trade enabler. Essential to the economy, to the customers, and to the communities it serves, CN safely transports more than 300 million tons of natural resources, manufactured products, and finished goods throughout North America every year. CN’s network connects Canada’s Eastern and Western coasts with the U.S. South through an 18,600-mile rail network, CN and its affiliates have been contributing to community prosperity and sustainable trade since 1919. CN is committed to programs supporting social responsibility and environmental stewardship.

CN Forward-looking Statements
Certain statements by CN included in this news release constitute “forward-looking statements” within the meaning of the United States Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 and under Canadian securities laws. By their nature, forward-looking statements involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. CN cautions that its assumptions may not materialize and that current economic conditions render such assumptions, although reasonable at the time they were made, subject to greater uncertainty. Forward-looking statements may be identified by the use of terminology such as “believes,” “expects,” “anticipates,” “assumes,” “outlook,” “plans,” “targets,” or other similar words. Forward-looking statements reflect information as of the date on which they are made. CN assumes no obligation to update or revise forward-looking statements to reflect future events, changes in circumstances, or changes in beliefs, unless required by applicable securities laws. In the event CN does update any forward-looking statement, no inference should be made that CN will make additional updates with respect to that statement, related matters, or any other forward-looking statement. Reference should be made to Management’s Discussion and Analysis in CN’s annual and interim reports, Annual Information Form and Form 40-F, filed with Canadian and U.S. securities regulators and available on CN’s website, for a description of major risk factors.

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Jonathan AbecassisStacy Alderson
Director, Public Affairs andAssistant Vice-President
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