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Change in the chairmanship of the SAQ Board of Directors on May 1, 2013

The SAQ’s management committee hails the important contribution of Norman Hébert Jr. and extends a warm welcome to Sylvain Simard.


Montreal, April 10, 2013 – Following the announcement of the departure of Norman Hébert Jr., who will now focus on his fast-growing company and more recent appointment as Chair of the Board of Governors of Concordia University, the members of the government corporation’s Management Committee want to hail his important contribution and dedication to the SAQ.



A chairmanship marked by integrity and governance


A businessman admired by his peers and deeply involved in the community, Mr. Hébert gave the SAQ more than six years of loyal service as Chairman of the Board of Directors. Under his leadership, the company’s values – namely integrity, accountability, enthusiasm and collaboration – took on their full meaning and served as the pillars for establishing a new corporate governance structure at the SAQ.


The first chairman of a government corporation to have instituted, beginning in 2007, the new rules imposed by the Act respecting the governance of State-owned enterprises, which was adopted at the end of 2006, Mr. Hébert greatly modernized the operations of the SAQ’s Board of Directors by carrying out a significant review of its committees and terms of reference.



A constant concern to set an example


Mr. Hébert also led the SAQ to stand apart through innovative projects, such as making its business practices into models to be emulated. Accordingly, the SAQ implemented two strategic plans centred around developing new markets, two sustainable development action plans and a code of ethics for its employees. In addition, the SAQ reviewed the actions stemming from its sales ethic and increased its reliance on the strength of its advisory service.


All these actions have helped the SAQ to achieve the best financial performance in its history. Since 2006, net sales have increased from $2 billion to $3 billon, operating expenses have been brought under control and the dividend remitted to the shareholder has risen sharply, this year exceeding the $1 billion mark for the first time.



Great personal qualities


Keen to pay homage to the work done by Mr. Hébert, the SAQ’s President and Chief Executive Officer, Philippe Duval, thanked him for all that he had accomplished and for the great qualities he has displayed throughout his time in office. “A man of his word and an involved individual, Norman Hébert has shared his know-how and skills with the entire SAQ team. Attentive and constantly focused on developing and recognizing talent and knowledge, he has instilled in each of us a rare taste for excelling, and I want to thank him for it.”



Welcome to the new chairman


The SAQ’s Management Committee also extends a warm welcome to Sylvain Simard, who, on May 1, will become the next Chairman of the SAQ’s Board of Directors. “We look forward to having him on board. Here he will find a motivated and skilled team. The 2013–2015 strategic plan includes a number of major projects, and Mr. Simard’s extensive experience not only in public administration but also in international relations will undoubtedly be advantageous for our organization, which remains intent on becoming a world leader in the selection and sale of wines and spirits,” Mr. Duval concluded.