Fernando de Jesús Canales Clariond (b. July 21, 1946 in Monterrey) is a Mexican politician and businessman affiliated to the National Action Party (PAN). He succeeded his cousin, Benjamín Clariond as governor of Nuevo León in 1997. He also served as Secretary of Economy and as Secretary of Energy in the cabinet of Vicente Fox.
Fernando Canales is the son of Fernando Canales Salinas and Consuelo Clariond. Consuelo is the daughther of Jacques Antoine Clariond ("Santiago Antonio Clariond), founder of Industrias Monterrey, and his wife María Garza. IMSA is nowadays one of the leading business groups in Latin America.
During his youth he briefly considered the Catholic priesthood but finally opted-in for a bachelor's degree in law from the Escuela Libre de Derecho. Later on he received an MBA from the Monterrey Institute of Technology and Higher Studies (ITESM) and specialized in industrial relations at the Institute of Social Studies of The Hague, in the Netherlands.
In the private sector Canales has served as chief executive officer and vice president of IMSA and as a member of the board in several companies in the United States, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Chile and Mexico.
Politically, he is a member of the right-of-center National Action Party since 1978. He became its 1985 nominee for the Nuevo León governorship but lost against Jorge Alonso Treviño of the Revolutionary Institutional Party (PRI). Twelve years later he reattempted it and won, becoming the first governor of the PAN in the history of the state.
As a governor, Canales delivered mixed results. He left the post after being invited to the federal cabinet by President Vicente Fox and was appointed Secretary of Economy on January 15, 2003. His former treasurer, Fernando Elizondo, assumed as interim but eventually their party lost the governorship in the July 2003 elections against Natividad González Parás, Canales' leading opponent six years earlier.