Richard Currie

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Richard James Currie OC (born 1937 in Saint John, New Brunswick) is a Canadian businessman.


He entered the University of New Brunswick in 1955 on a Beaverbrook Scholarship and was elected president of the first-year class.[1] He later received a Bachelor of Engineering in Chemistry degree from the Technical University of Nova Scotia in 1960. He worked as an engineer until 1968, when he entered Harvard University to earn a Master of Business Administration degree in 1970.[2]


In 1960, he joined Atlantic Sugar Refineries as a Process Engineer and was a Refining Superintendent from 1963 to 1968. After graduating from Harvard in 1970, he became a Senior Associate at McKinsey & Co., a management consultant firm based in New York City.[3]

In 1972, he joined Loblaws as a Vice-President, becoming Executive Vice-President in 1974, and President in 1976. Loblaws increased its market share over 350 times in 25 years while under his control, reaching $14 billion before he stepped down on December 31, 2000.[1][3] Through this, it became the largest private sector employer in Canada.[1]

In 1996, he was appointed President of Loblaws parent company, George Weston Ltd., where he increased the share price from $16 to $123. In 2002 he stepped down from Weston and was appointed Chairman of BCE Inc. on April 24 of that year.[1][3]

He, along with Lynton Wilson, Anthony S. Fell, James Fleck, Hal Jackman and John McArthur, helped establish a chair in Canadian business history at the Joseph L. Rotman School of Management, which is the first chair of its kind in Canada. Worth $3 million, it will help fund courses and research related to the progress of the commerce industry in Canada, along with the legal, economic and political events that impacted its history.[4]

He was the Chairman of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada from 2002 to 2009 and currently sits on the board of directors of CAE, and Staples, Inc. and is also a Trustee of The Art Gallery of Ontario and a Director of Historical Foundation of Canada. Along with these titles, he is also Chairman of the Board of Telesat and was a Director of Imperial Oil Limited, and a member of the International Advisory Boards of RJR Nabisco and Jacobs Suchard.[3]

University of New Brunswick involvement[edit]

On May 24, 2003, he was appointed Chancellor of the University of New Brunswick by the lieutenant-governor in council, at UNB's 174th Encaenia. His duties are to serve as the honorary head of UNB and also as a member of its Board of Governors.[1]

In 2004, he established the Blake-Kirkpatrick Scholarships (now the Currie Scholarship) in memory of his two grandmothers: Ida Mae Blake and Jannet Kirkpatrick.[5]

On October 20, 2005, the University of New Brunswick established a Chair in Nanotechnology in his honour. This is the first Chair in Nanotechnology in Canada.[6]

In Fall 2011 work was completed on the Richard J. Currie Center, a five-storey, 139,000-square-foot athletics and gymnasium complex, named in honor of Currie, who was also the primary donor. Currie donated over $20 million toward the construction of the building, the largest single donation a New Brunswick university has ever received.[7]