Former Canadian Prime Minister Brian Mulroney is set to become Chairman of Quebecor Inc. in what business analysts describe as a move to provide stability for the media and telecom giant after the departure of Chief Executive Pierre Karl Péladeau.
In early March 2014, Péladeau announced his resignation from Quebecor to pursue politics as a provincial candidate for the Parti Quebecois. Péladeau took over the reins at Quebecor shortly after the 1997 death of his father, Pierre Péladeau. At the time of his March resignation, PK Péladeau promised to place his Quebecor financial interests in a blind trust or under a blind management agreement if he was elected to Québec’s National Assembly on April 7. Péladeau subsequently won a seat in the riding of Saint-Jérôme, Quebec.
Quebecor also recently suffered the departure of CEO Robert Depatie, the former Videotron executive who steered Quebecor into the wireless arena, because of health reasons. Quebecor has an inhereant interest in expanding its wireless play beyond the borders of Quebec.
With the Parti Quebecois’ political interests in pursing the potential for Quebec to separate from the rest of Canada, business analysts suggest the pending appointment of Mulroney as Quebecor’s Chairman provides more nationalistic sentiment among shareholders. By winning his Saint-Jérôme seat, Péladeau is now considered as a PQ leadership contender after its former leader, Pauline Marois, resigned when the Liberal party handily won Quebec’s April 7 provincial election.
“I do think that it does calm the waters because of who Brian Mulroney is,” said Karl Moore, a professor at McGill University's Desautels Faculty of Management, when speaking with The Canadian Press about the potential unease if PK Péladeau helps lead Parti Quebecois’ pursuit of Quebec sovereignty.
Mulroney is currently Vice Chairman of Quebecor’s board. He is expected to be elected as Chairman on June 19 when the Montreal company holds its annual general meeting.