On May 9, 2013, Alain Lemaire will hand over the position of President and Chief Executive Officer to Mario Plourde, now Chief Operating Officer. What a historic moment for the company! We’d like to take a few moments to help you get acquainted with this man who, over the next few years, will rise to meet many challenges!
Portrait of a seasoned Cascader
A native of Danville, Mario Plourde’s childhood was surprisingly similar to that of the Lemaire brothers. He began his career in the paper industry collecting old papers and other recyclable waste. As a student, Mario took advantage of his breaks and holidays to get involved in the company. In 1985, after completing a bachelor’s degree in business administration (major in finance) at the Université du Québec à Montréal, he joined Cascades. We can safely say that Laurent Lemaire made a wise decision when he hired this young graduate!
Since his arrival at Cascades in 1985, Mario Plourde has occupied various positions including Controller, Plant Manager and General Manager. In 1997, he was appointed President and Chief Operating Officer of the Specialty Products Group, and was President of this group from 2000 to 2010.
In 2011, the Lemaire brothers announced the appointment of Mario Plourde to the position of Chief Operating Officer of Cascades. His main task: nothing less than running the company’s entire operations!
Beyond his professional responsibilities, he is also very involved in the community. He is active in Centraide’s and the Fondation Charles-Bruneau’s fundraising campaigns. He is also part of the Groupe Conseil at UQAM.
The Lemaire brothers: irreplaceable
As Mario so aptly put it during the press conference, “You can succeed the Lemaire brothers, but you can’t replace them.” Mario Plourde demonstrated much pride and appreciation for his mentors during the historic event, which took place March 26, the same day as Cascades’ 49th anniversary.
Of course, Alain Lemaire and his older brothers will remain active within the company; our new President will be ably assisted! Alain Lemaire will continue to serve as Chairman of the Board of Directors, and provide support to Mario in his daily activities. He will also put his technical skills to use in the various groups. Bernard and Laurent will also remain active, continuing to serve on the Board of Directors, the Executive Committee, and participating in the company’s strategic planning.
March 26 – etched in our minds forever
Emotions were running high as the Lemaire brothers handed over the reins to Mario Plourde. It was obvious that they have complete trust in their protégé. Laurent Lemaire even joked that because there were only three brothers in the family, they decided to adopt another one. So Mario Plourde is, in a sense, the fourth Lemaire brother!
There is no doubt that Mario will keep the Lemaires’ management philosophy alive, having been immersed in their values for the past 28 years. Despite challenging times in the paper industry, our new leader assures us that he will do everything in his power to build an increasingly efficient business. At 51 years old, Mario Plourde is embarking on a great professional adventure, with many challenges ahead. We extend our congratulations and wish him much success in his new position!