Ex Bloc Québécois chief runs to become president of Desjardins

By Andrew Rickard | February 03 2016 11:34AM

Photo: Jean-Philippe Bourgoin

Guy Cormier, Robert Ouellette, and Daniel Paillé are all running to become the next president of the Desjardins Group.

The names of the three candidates were released after the nomination period ended on Feb. 1. The election period is the next step in Desjardins’ process to find a new leader, and it will last until March 18. During this period Cormier, Ouellette, and Paillé will have an opportunity to present their vision to members of Desjardin's 256 person electoral college.

Robert Ouellette is senior vice-president of Desjardins’ technology and shared services center, where he is responsible for overseeing IT development for Desjardins Group. He is an engineer, and studied at the Université de Montréal's École Polytechnique. Before he joined Desjardins in 2009, Ouellette was vice president and chief information officer at Alcan.

Guy Cormier is Desjardin's senior vice-president for cooperative network and personal services. He is also responsible for developing and marketing Desjardins' services to individuals in Quebec and Ontario. Cormier has been with Desjardins since 1992, and has both a Bachelor of Business Administration and an MBA from the École des Hautes Études commerciales (HEC).

Daniel Paillé was the leader of the Bloc Québécois and former Member of Parliament for the Montreal riding of Hochelaga. He lost his seat in 2011 and stepped down from his role as Bloc leader in late 2013 due to health reasons. He has a Bachelor of Business Administration from the HEC, and also holds a Masters in Economics from the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM).

Interviewed by Radio Canada on the subject, Desjardins spokesman André Chapleau said that Paillé's candidature would bring a different perspective to the debates. "The fact that all the caisses' members are eligible, and the addition of fresh blood to the [electoral] process represents an interesting factor," he said. "I will not be participating in the debates, but I imagine that the exchanges will be interesting."

Desjardins' electoral members will cast their votes on March 19, and the new president will take office after the organisation holds its annual general meeting on April 9, 2016.