Head of Videotron to replace Peladeau as Quebecor CEO

MONTREAL – Pierre Karl Peladeau is stepping aside as president and chief executive of Quebecor Inc. (TSX:QBR.B) and Quebecor Media Inc. but will remain with the companies and oversee corporate strategy.

He has been with Quebecor, which was founded by his father, since 1985 and has been president and CEO for the last 14 years.

The new president and CEO of the Quebec-based media giant will be Robert Depatie, who has been president and CEO of Quebecor’s Videotron cable and telecom service since 2003.

The changes will take effect in May when Quebecor holds its annual meeting in Montreal.

“The governance committee and I are very pleased to transfer responsibility for the corporation’s management to Robert,” Peladeau said in a statement issued along with the company’s latest financial report.

He noted that over the past 10 years, Videotron has grown its operating income to $1.2 billion — up from $275 million — as it expanded the range of services to include home phones and wireless communications.

The growth at Videotron has largely offset declines at Quebecor’s newspapers, which have been caught by an industrywide decline in advertising and reader support as newer forms of media have grown in popularity.

“A particular point of pride for me is the role our achievements of recent years have played in driving Quebec’s economic development and the thousands of high-tech jobs we have created. I also wish to take this opportunity to thank our 16,000 employees for their support and their contribution to our success.”

Peladeau will be appointed chairman of the board at Quebecor Media and vice-chairman of the parent company, Quebecor Inc.

Serge Gouin, who has been chairman of the Quebecor Media board since the company’s creation in 1999, will retire.

Francoise Bertrand, who remains chair of the parent company’s board of directors, said she and the rest of Quebecor’s directors were grateful for Gouin’s dedication and knowledge.

“He played a vital role in team-building among QMI’s directors and officers,” Bertrand said.

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