|From left, Bernard Lemaire, Alain Lemaire, Mario Plourde and Laurent Lemaire.|
Alain Lemaire, president and CEO of the Canadian-based paper company Cascades, has announced that Mario Plourde, presently chief operating officer, will become the company’s CEO and president May 9, 2013, following a two-year transition period.
Alain Lemaire, along with his brothers Bernard and Laurent, transformed a small paper operation in Kingsey Falls, Quebec, into a sizable paper and recycling operation in North America.
At a press conference where he announced plans to step down from the position, Lemaire said, “After nearly 10 years at the head of the company, my brothers and I feel it is time to pass on the torch and make room for the younger generation.”
While announcing his plan to retire from the position, Lemaire says he will continue to serve as chairman of Cascades’ board of directors.
"Of course, I will continue to support Mario in his daily activities and I also intend to remain involved with the company, returning to my original passion by putting my technical skills to use in the various groups," he added.
Bernard and Laurent will also remain active, continuing to serve on the board of directors and the executive committee, and participating in the company's strategic planning.
"In February 2011, we announced the nomination of Mario Plourde to the position of chief operating officer. He belongs to the new generation of competent and dedicated leaders at Cascades, and he is a true believer in our values. At the same time, we announced the beginning of a transition process that would ensure a sound business succession. We had a plan, and we carried it out. After nearly 10 years at the head of the company, my brothers and I feel it is time to pass on the torch and make room for the younger generation," said Lemaire.
"Today, I'd like to thank Bernard, Laurent and Alain for the trust they are placing in me," said Plourde. "It is a real honor to take over the reins of the company they have built with their own hands, and that has become one of the most admired businesses in the province. I am looking forward to perpetuating the values of the company, and taking the torch they have carried for close to 50 years.
“I want Cascades employees to know that they can count on me to be there, and that I am fully committed and dedicated to the company. In these challenging economic times, it is more important than ever to remain unified, stay the course and build an increasingly efficient business," added Plourde.
Since his arrival at Cascades in 1985, Plourde has occupied various positions, including controller, plant manager and general manager. In 1997, he was appointed president and COO of the Specialty Products Group, which he was president of until 2010.