CN Rail CEO to Take Leave for Treatment of Tumor as CFO Steps in

Canadian National Railway Co. Chief Executive Officer Claude Mongeau is taking a three-month leave of absence to undergo treatment to remove a tumor.

Chief Financial Officer Luc Jobin will coordinate the management team until the 53-year-old CEO returns to work, Montreal-based Canadian National said Wednesday in a statement. Mongeau plans to “remain engaged” in the business while he is away, the company said.

Doctors found a rare type of precancerous soft-tissue tumor in the upper-left part of Mongeau’s larynx, Canadian National said. His treatment plan calls for surgery later this month or early in September, about one month of healing and about six weeks of targeted radiation therapy to “completely cure the illness,” the railroad said.

“This is a serious health setback for me personally, but one of CN’s core strengths is that we have a very experienced and tightly-knit senior team that knows how to lead our railway to success,” Mongeau said in the statement. “For this reason, I have all the confidence in the world that CN will not miss a beat while I take good care of myself to recover fully.”

Mongeau replaced Hunter Harrison as CEO of Canada’s largest railroad in January 2010. He was promoted from CFO.

The 70-year-old Harrison, now at smaller rival Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd., is currently sidelined following leg surgery and a “mild bout” of pneumonia. He probably won’t return to work for a few weeks, the Calgary-based railroad said July 21.