All eyes are on Quebecor now: the company is distancing itself from its controlling shareholder, Pierre Karl Péladeau, as it has chosen another chairman in the person of former prime minister Brian Mulroney, reports the Globe and Mail.
The company disclosed in a corporate filing on Wednesday that Mr. Mulroney, 75, will be named chairman of the board at Quebecor’s annual meeting next month. The filing also revealed Quebecor paid outgoing chief executive Robert Dépatie $7.8-million after he decided to resign for undisclosed health reasons in April.
Péladeau lately has been focusing on politics, and he is said to have a great chance of taking over the leadership of the Parti Québécois, which, by the way, lost power in the election. His political aspirations had been seen as a roadblock in Quebecor’s wireless ambitions, but this is about to change, as Mulroney is seen as “someone who can smooth the way in Ottawa”.
Mulroney, currently vice-chairman of the board, will be named Chair and CEO of Quebecor on June 19 at the company’s annual meeting, and his present position will be taken over by Québec businessman Pierre Laurin.
By Mulroney taking over the company, Quebecor has every chance of “easing” the telco’s relations with the federal government, which is actively encouraging the growth of a fourth national player.
However, as we previously reported, the current setup needs to be changed, and both Quebecor and Wind Mobile, the most viable rivals of the incumbents, agree. Wind Mobile’s co-founder, Simon Lockie, has presented his case to the Senate this week, and Quebecor is about to meet with the federal government. That meeting will be decisive in the company’s future expansion plans.