Desbiens, Helie Tapped to Lead Quebecor World
MONTREAL—Michel Desbiens has been tapped to head Quebecor World as CEO, replacing long-time chief executive Charles G. Cavell, who first announced his retirement late last year.
Desbiens is best known in the industry as the former president and CEO of Donohue, a position he held until the company was sold to Abitibi Consolidated in 2000.
Desbiens joined Quebecor World as a director in April 2002 and was named CEO of international operations in November 2002. His appointment was widely expected after Cavell announced that he planned to retire later this month.
Desbiens has a long history in the industry and his leadership at Donohue reportedly brought him great respect within the industry. He began his career in the paper industry, holding a number of engineering and supervisory positions.
In 1977, Desbiens joined Domtar as general manager of manufacturing for the company’s newsprint division. He was later appointed Domtar’s vice president and general manager for newsprint, commercial pulp and groundwood specialties.
In 1985, Desbiens became CEO of Chapelle-Darblay, a French pulp and paper company. Returning to Canada in the late 1980s, Desbiens held several senior executive positions at Domtar in sales, marketing and business development before moving to Donohue as COO in 1992.
Also joining the new executive team as the company’s CFO is Claude Helie. Helie has replaced Christian Paupe, who has announced his intention to pursue other career opportunities. Helie has been the executive vice president and CFO of Quebecor Inc., Quebecor’s parent company, since April 2000. Prior to that, he was vice president and CFO at the pulp and paper company, Donohue.
“Michel Desbiens and Claude Helie formed a team that was highly regarded by everyone when they drove the impressive growth of Donohue,” praises Brian Mulroney, chairman of the board of Quebecor World.
“At Michel’s invitation Claude has accepted to rejoin him and assume the role of CFO of Quebecor World. The combination of the skills of these two individuals will ensure that the company will continue to grow and deliver value to all shareholders,” Mulroney adds.