He's back: Pierre Karl Peladeau returns as president and CEO at Quebecor

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MONTREAL – Pierre Karl Peladeau is returning to his job as the president and CEO of Quebecor Inc., one of Canada’s largest media and telecommunications companies.

Peladeau, whose family founded the company (TSX:QBR.B), stepped down from the top job at the telecom in 2013 and began a short-lived political career.

“I am very pleased to return to the helm of Quebecor,” Peladeau, 55, said in a statement Thursday.

“The corporation is dear to my heart, it is in sound financial health, and has grown steadily in recent years.”

Peladeau, whose return is effective immediately, had served as president and CEO of Quebecor for 14 years before entering the political arena.

He ran for the Parti Quebecois in the 2014 provincial election and was elected PQ leader in 2015. However, Peladeau resigned from politics last year amid turmoil in his personal life.

In January 2016, he separated from his wife, actress and producer Julie Snyder, after a short marriage following years together.

The company that Peladeau returns to is different from the one he left.

Quebecor has grown its wireless business in recent years, adding hundreds of thousands of new mobile phone customers since 2013.

The company also sold Sun Media’s English-language operations — including the Sun chain of daily newspapers — to Postmedia Network Canada and shut down Sun News Network, the company’s news channel, after it failed to find a buyer for the TV station.

TVA Group discontinued its Argent specialty service last year.

However, National Bank Financial analyst Adam Shine said that Peladeau’s return shouldn’t come as a surprise and he doesn’t expect any material change at the company with his arrival.

“We’ll watch for executive turnover, but none is truly expected,” Shine wrote in a note to clients.

Quebecor owns an 81 per cent stake in Quebecor Media, which holds the Videotron cable and telecommunications company and TVA Group broadcaster as well as various other media businesses.

Peladeau’s family controls the company through its class-A multiple-voting shares.

As a result of Peladeau’s return, Pierre Dion, who has been Quebecor CEO since April 2014, has been appointed chairman of Quebecor Media and a director of Quebecor. He will also be nominated for a director’s seat at TVA Group, which includes Quebec’s largest private sector TV network.

Brian Mulroney will remain chairman at Quebecor.

Quebecor’s class-B subordinate-voting shares were down 93 cents at $38.11 in trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

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