Posts Tagged ‘Tracy Robinson’

CN Going Back to Basics

May 19, 2022

Canadian National CEO Tracy Robinson told an investor’s conference this week that the carrier is taking a back-to-basics approach to operations.

Speaking to the Bank of America 29th Annual Transportation Conference, she said CN is emphasizing that that trains depart from yards on on time and with the right blocks of cars.

“As we bring the schedule together, it means every car has a plan, every block has a plan, every train has a plan, the meets are all scheduled. And every customer has a plan, including the local service delivery. As we do this, we’re seeing it’s starting to work,” Robinson said.

The goal of this is to increase network speed and improve service to shippers.

Robinson said traffic flows remain different than they were before the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Although CN is actively seeking new business, Robinson said the railroad is more tightly coordinating its operations, marketing, and finance functions to ensure that it can handle any new business it takes on.

“You need to be intentional about that, and to build our book in such a way that we can deliver to our customers,” she said. “We want to be able to deliver what we sell.”

A story about Robinson’s speech can be read at

New CN CEO Outlines Priorities

April 29, 2022

Canadian National CEO Tracy Robinson is now two months into her tenure as head of the Montreal-based railroad and has spent much of that time getting to know the system, including its workers and shippers.

During an earnings conference call with investors this week she laid out her priorities for CN. It was her first public comment since taking over as CEO on Feb. 28.

The first priority Robinson mentioned was focusing on improving velocity. At the same time CN needs to make more efficient use locomotives, cars and crews.

Robinson also spoke of better fitting its network to its strengths, tightening coordination between operations and marketing to ensure CN is able to deliver on its commitments to customers, and investing for growth and efficiency.

“We all know what this network and what this team is capable of doing,” Robinson said. “It’s not a matter of is it operating ratio or is it growth. I think it’s both.”

During the earning call Robinson announced that Doug MacDonald, currently CN’s senior vice president of special projects, was promoted to chief marketing officer.

Robinson replaced the retiring J.J. Ruest at CN. She worked for 27 years at Canadian Pacific and most recently was an executive for pipeline company TC Energy.

CN Executive Train Passes Through Michigan

April 8, 2022

The Canadian National executive train passed through Michigan on Thursday as the railroad’s new CEO Tracy Robinson took to the rails to look at the system.

The train originated in Toronto at the Brampton Intermodal Terminal and was expected to arrive in Chicago Thursday afternoon, Trains magazine reported on its website.

The train had two CN freight locomotives and four passenger cars.

Robinson assumed the CEO post on Feb. 28, replacing the retiring Jean-Jacques Ruest.

CN Names Robinson as Next CEO

January 26, 2022

Tracy Robinson has been named the new president and chief executive officer of Canadian National.

She will assume her new posts on Feb. 28 upon the retirement of CEO Jean-Jacques Ruest.

Robinson is currently with TC Energy where she holds the position of executive vice president and serves as president of TC divisions Canadian Natural Gas Pipelines, and Coastal GasLink.

She has been with TC Energy since 2014. Previously Robinson worked for 27 years in executive positions in operations, commercial and finance at Canadian Pacific.

Ruest, who has been at CN for 25 years, announced his retirement last year pending the appointment of his replacement.

“She knows the railroad,” Ruest said during a conference call with investors on Tuesday. “She knows the network. She knows the competition. She’s passionate about railroading. In my view, she is a railroader.”

Ruest said Robinson’s experience in the energy industry will help CN tap into the ongoing energy boom in Western Canada, including the development of hydrogen and growth in the petrochemical sector.

Robinson earned a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School of Business and holds a Bachelor of Commerce Degree from the University of Saskatchewan.

The Globe and Mail of Toronto reported that Robinson has pledged to learn to speak French.

The newspaper said this was a bid to avoid the type of controversy that ensnared Air Canada CEO Michael Rousseau after he gave a speech last year in Montreal in English and was unable to speak with reporters in French.

Robinson said she wants to be able to communicate better with CN’s francophone employees.

In a related development, CN and one of its large shareholders, TCI Fund Management, have settled their differences and the hedge fund will drop its proxy contest.

TCI had sought to name is own slate of company directors and top executives after becoming disenchanted with CN’s financial and stock performance. TCI also had been critical of CN’s failed effort to acquire Kansas City Southern last year.

CN and TCI have agreed to collaborate on the naming of two independent directors to the CN board to be appointed by the time of CN’s annual meeting this year.

In the meantime, CN said it has named former politician Jean Charest as an independent director. Current CN board member Shauneen Bruder was named vice-chair of the board.