MONTREAL — Canadian National Railway Co.’s former chief executive received $12.3 million in compensation last year, before he left the company as it struggles through operational and customer service challenges, the Montreal-based railway said in a regulatory filing.
Luc Jobin’s total compensation was up from $8.3 million in 2016, when he assumed the top job halfway through the year. He was chief financial officer for the first six months.
His total compensation was slightly lower than the Royal Bank’s Dave McKay, at $12.4 million, the best compensated of Canada’s top five bank CEOs in 2017.
But he was far behind Keith Creel, who was paid $20.1 million, including $10.5 million in stock options last year to head Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd.
Jobin last year received $1.4 million in salary, $5.15 million in share-based awards, $2.7 million in option-based awards and $2.6 million in annual bonus. The remaining money came from pension values and other compensation.
On March 5, CN Rail’s board of directors announced Jobin’s departure and the appointment of Jean-Jacques Ruest, a 22-year veteran of the company, as interim president and CEO. Ruest will also remain chief marketing officer while the board conducts a global search for a full-time chief executive.
In the filing ahead of its April 24 annual meeting in Toronto, CN Rail said the company was in the process of finalizing arrangements relating to Jobin’s departure “in the context of applicable legal requirements and the company’s plans.”
Jobin received $4.8 million in compensation in 2015, including an extra $830,000 paid in February 2016 because of extra duties he assumed during former CEO Claude Mongeau’s medical leave of absence.
As chief marketing officer, Ruest’s total compensation increased three per cent last year to $4.6 million.
In a message to shareholders, CN chairman Robert Pace and Ruest described 2017 as a “notable year for CN with unprecedented volume growth.”
Its revenues increased eight per cent to $13 billion as volume records were set in international intermodal, frac sand, coal, propane, and potash.
CN Rail’s net profits surged 51 per cent to nearly $5.5 billion as it was helped by lower U.S. taxes. Adjusted profits were up six per cent to $3.8 billion or $4.99 per share.
“It was also a year that ended with operational challenges,” they wrote.
CN said it faced disruptions in the Western region caused by unusual weather conditions in the fall, including wind storms and mudslides, followed by harsh early winter conditions across the network.
The railway hired 3,400 employees and is hiring hundreds more while also increasing its capital spending this year to $3.2 billion from $2.7 billion.