After 14 years at the helm of the company founded by his father, Pierre Karl Péladeau will step down as CEO of Quebecor Inc., and will be replaced by Robert Dépatie, the president of the company’s telecommunications division. Péladeau’s unexpected departure from one of Canada’s largest media and telecommunication companies was announced in a press release Thursday morning.

By Tamara Baluja

Quebecor announced several changes at its executive level with Pierre Karl Péladeau stepping down as CEO of Quebecor Inc. He will be replaced by the president of the Videotron telecommunications division Robert Dépatie. 

After 14 years at the helm of the company founded by his father, Péladeau’s departure from one of Canada’s largest media and telecommunication companies was announced in a press release Thursday morning. The company said the shuffles stem from current chairman Serge Gouin's departure. The changes will formally take effect on May 8 at Quebecor’s annual meeting of shareholders in Montreal. 

Péladeau will remain at the company as the new chairman of the QMI board and TVA Group, and he will also take on the role of vice-chairman of board of Quebecor. 

“I and all of Quebecor’s directors are confident that he will be equally successful in leading the growth and development of QMI and Quebecor,” Péladeau said of Dépatie’s appointment.

Since Dépatie took over Videotron in 2003, its operating income has risen from $275-million to more than $1.2-billion. However, the company spent $1.5-billion in October to increase its media ownership stake in Quebecor Media from 54.7 per cent up to 75.4 per cent. In November, Sun Media announced it would slash 500 jobs and put up paywalls to cope with declining advertisement revenue. These initiatives are expected to yield total annual savings exceeding $45-million, the company said in its fourth-quarter earnings report, which were also released on Thursday. 

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The earnings showed revenues in the news media division, which include Sun Media, declined 11.3 per cent, while the telecommunications side sales increased 6.9 per cent. Net income was $9.2 million, down $76.2 million from $85.4 million in the fourth quarter of 2011. 

“The News Media segment’s results were down significantly in 2012 compared with the previous year,” Péladeau said in a statement. “The upheavals in the traditional print media industry, combined with a stagnant economy, negatively affected the profitability of our publications."

 

 

 

Tamara Baluja is an award-winning journalist with CBC Vancouver and the 2018 Michener-Deacon fellow for journalism education. She was the associate editor for J-Source from 2013-2014.