By Adriano Marchese

Canadian National Railway has appointed Patrick Whitehead and Derek Taylor to the roles of chief network operating officer and chief field operating officer, respectively, as it looks to advance its profit goals over the next two years.

Whitehead and Taylor will succeed Ed Harris, who has been in the chief operating officer position for less than a year. He was appointed to the role at the end of November of last year, after having worked with the CN Rail operations leadership team in a consulting capacity. Harris will remain onboard as a consultant again until the end of March to ensure a seamless transition, the Canadian railroad said Wednesday.

The appointment comes as the company looks advance its 'Make the Plan, Run the Plan, Sell the Plan' strategy to accelerate growth at low incremental costs.

With this idea in mind, Whitehead will lead the charge to 'make the plan.' In his role, Whitehead will lead network operations, mechanical, engineering and the corporate safety team.

Taylor will 'run the plan' with system-wide leadership for transportation and intermodal operations, the company said.

While the company outlined the general responsibilities of the new operating officers, it said that it will continue to refine the structure over time to align additional responsibilities under both roles as it executes future phases of the transformation project.

CN Rail is targeting a 10% to 15% growth of diluted earnings per share over the next three years by growing volumes more than the economy, pricing above rail inflation, and incrementally improving efficiency.

"With this new structure and leadership in place, we are well-positioned to achieve the sustainable, profitable growth outlined in our 2024-2026 plan," President and Chief Executive Tracy Robinson said.

Write to Adriano Marchese at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

10-18-23 0848ET