Pierre Karl Péladeau

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Pierre Karl Péladeau
MNA for Saint-Jérôme
Incumbent
Assumed office
2014
Preceded by Jacques Duchesneau
Personal details
Born Pierre-Carl Péladeau
(1961-10-16) 16 October 1961 (age 52)
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Political party Parti Québécois
Spouse(s) Isabelle Hervet,
Julie Snyder (2001-2014)
Children 3
Parents Pierre Péladeau
Alma mater UQAM
Université de Montréal
Occupation Businessman

Pierre Karl Péladeau (born 16 October 1961) is the former president and CEO of Quebecor Inc., Quebecor Media Inc. and Sun Media Corporation. He is the Parti Québécois MNA-elect for Saint-Jérôme.[1]

Biography[edit]

Péladeau is the son of the Quebecor founder Pierre Péladeau, along with siblings Érik Péladeau, Anne-Marie Péladeau, Isabelle Péladeau,[2] Simon-Pierre Péladeau, Esther Péladeau and Jean Péladeau.

He was educated in Montreal and Paris. He holds a degree in philosophy from Université du Québec à Montréal and a law degree from Université de Montréal. He was in a long-term relationship with Julie Snyder,[3] which produced two children, Thomas and Romy, and ended in January 2014.[4] He also has another child, Marie, who was born of his marriage with Isabelle Hervet, a native of France.[4]

He joined his father’s management team at an early age.

He is known to be confrontational with unions and has used lock-out tactics at least 14 times.[5] He counts Brian Mulroney amongst his business associates.[3] Péladeau sits on the boards of several Quebecor companies[5] and is active in many charitable and cultural organizations. Quebecers identify him with his initials, PKP.

Business career[edit]

Péladeau first started in acquisition and business development participating in the acquisition of BCE Publitech which made Quebecor the largest printer in Canada. He played a leading role in the acquisition of Maxwell Graphics which gave the company a significant presence in the U.S. market.[citation needed] He also was involved in the acquisition of Donohue Inc., one of North America's most efficient pulp and paper companies.[citation needed]

Péladeau was appointed president of Quebecor Communications Inc. in 1991. This division included the company's main publishing assets and some distribution and retail operations.

In 1994, Péladeau relocated to Paris to help his company's growth. As president of Quebecor Printing Europe he developed the new subsidiary through a series of acquisitions in France, the United Kingdom and Spain, building it into Europe's largest printer.[citation needed]

In 1997, after the sudden death of his father, he returned to the Montreal head office to assume the position of executive vice president and chief operating officer of Quebecor Printing Inc. with overall responsibility for the company's worldwide operations.

In 1998, Péladeau spearheaded the acquisition of Sun Media Corporation, making Quebecor the second largest newspaper chain in Canada.

In 1999, he carried out the acquisition of World Color Press by Quebecor Printing Inc. The acquisition created Quebecor World Inc., one of the world's largest printers. Quebecor World had, at one time, operations in 17 countries on three continents and employs approximately 35,000 employees. In 1999 the board of directors of Quebecor Inc. named him president and CEO of the company.

In 2000, he was responsible for the acquisition of the Vidéotron group, the largest cable TV operator in Quebec, and TVA, the largest French-language broadcaster in the country. Shortly afterwards all of the company's media properties were brought under one roof with the creation of Quebecor Media, currently one of the largest media operations in Canada. It is engaged in newspaper publishing (Sun Media Corporation), cable television, Internet access provider and local telephony (Vidéotron ltée), broadcasting (TVA Group Inc.), Web technology and integration (Nurun Inc.), Internet portals (Canoe Inc.), book and magazine publishing (Publicor and TVA Publications Inc.), retailing of books and entertainment products (Archambault Group Inc. and Le SuperClub Vidéotron ltée) and business telecommunications (Vidéotron Télécom ltée).

In 2008, Quebecor World went bankrupt.[3] He appeared to blame the Royal Bank of Canada and the English Canadian business establishment for his misfortune.[3]

In March 2013, Péladeau announced he was stepping down as CEO of Vidéotron and was succeeded in May 2013 by then-President Robert Depatie.[6] Péladeau was to continue to work for the company in corporate strategy.[6]

On 15 May 2013, Péladeau was appointed by Pauline Marois to be chairman of the board of directors of Hydro-Québec,[3][5] which is the largest hydroelectric producer and distributor in Canada. He resigned in March, 2014 to pursue his political ambitions.[5]

Political career[edit]

On 9 March 2014, Péladeau announced his candidacy for election as a star candidate for the Parti Québécois in the riding of Saint-Jérôme, which is contiguous with the Montreal exurb of the same name just north-east of Mirabel Airport. He was not previously known to be a sovereigntist, although with pronouncements such as the fact that he wants "Quebec to be a country" and that he is "in it for sovereignty" he promptly established himself as such.[7]

The federal government chose in early March not to comment on Mr. Péladeau’s decision to embrace the PQ and Quebec sovereignty.[5] "We have no intention of getting involved in a provincial election," said Denis Lebel, federal Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs,[5] and since October 2008 the Minister of Economic Development Agency of Canada for the Regions of Quebec in Stephen Harper's government.

Quebec Liberal leader and Leader of the Opposition Philippe Couillard felt the prospect of the man owning more than half of the media outlets in Quebec could become a government backbencher was a severe conflict of interest. His sentiments were echoed by the leader of the Coalition Avenir Quebec, François Legault. [8] Comparisons between Peladeau and Silvio Berlusconi have been seen.[7] Peladeau had in 2010 refused to meet with John Gomery, president of the Conseil de presse du Quebec, over his withdrawal from the Conseil of two of Quebecor's newspapers, the Journal de Montréal and the Journal de Québec.[9]

Péladeau's selection alienated voters on several fronts. He had a reputation for being a union-buster due to his frequent use of lockouts, a significant liability both in a province that is 40 percent unionized and in a party that has long billed itself as a social democratic party.[10] At the same time, his unabashed support for sovereigntism alienated many voters who did not want to vote on the sovereignty issue again. Indeed, soon after he entered the race, the PQ's poll numbers flatlined and never recovered.[11]

Péladeau was narrowly elected with 37 percent of the vote, even as the Liberals were elected to a strong majority government.[10] His first day at the National Assembly was on Monday, May 26th, eight days after a bike accident in the Eastern Townships left him with eight fractures. [12]

References[edit]