MONTREAL, April 17, 2019 – Mr. François J. Coutu will retire as President of the Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc., the pharmacy division of METRO Inc., as of May 31.
“Having devoted most of my professional life to the Jean Coutu Group and seeing how the combination with METRO is now well on track to ensure its sustainability over time, I have decided to retire knowing that I’m leaving in place a great brand, a strong business model and an excellent team”, declared Mr. Coutu.
Mr. Coutu is a seasoned leader and businessman who, together with his team and our pharmacist-owners, has contributed to making PJC Jean Coutu pharmacies a leader in its sector as well as a brand admired and loved by all Quebecers.
"I would like to congratulate François for his very significant contribution to the success of the Jean Coutu Group since 1983 and I am pleased to be able to continue to work with him as a member of our Board of Directors," stated Mr. Eric R. La Flèche, President and Chief Executive Officer of METRO.
Mr. Coutu will also remain a pharmacist owner in our network, with three pharmacies under the Jean Coutu PJC banner.
Mr. Alain Champagne will succeed Mr. Coutu as President of the Jean Coutu Group.
"I am pleased to welcome Alain to our team. We are confident that Alain will be very successful as the leader of our pharmacy division given his extensive experience in the pharmacy and retail sectors as well as his proven ability to deliver results," added Mr. La Flèche.
With nearly 30 years of experience in major international companies, Mr. Champagne will be responsible for completing the combination of the Jean Coutu Group with METRO while ensuring the development of the division.
"I am delighted to join METRO to lead its pharmacy division. I look forward to contributing to the division’s growth trajectory by leveraging its strong brands, PJC and Brunet, its committed pharmacist-owners and the best team in the industry," said Mr. Champagne.
Mr. Coutu and Mr. Champagne will work closely together until Mr. Coutu's retirement to ensure a smooth transition.
We have used, throughout this press release, different statements that could, under the regulations issued by the Canadian Securities Administrators, be construed as being forward-looking information. In general, any statement contained herein, which does not constitute a historical fact, may be deemed a forward-looking statement. The use of future and conditional tenses are generally indicative of forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements do not provide any guarantees as to the future performance of the Corporation and are subject to potential risks, known and unknown, as well as uncertainties that could cause the outcome to differ significantly. An economic slowdown or recession, or the arrival of a new competitor, are examples of risks described under the “Risk Management” section of the 2018 Annual Report which could have an impact on these statements. We believe these statements to be reasonable and pertinent as at the date of publication of this report and represent our expectations. The Corporation does not intend to update any forward-looking statement contained herein, except as required by applicable law.
About METRO INC.
With annual sales of approximately $16 billion, METRO INC. is a food and pharmacy leader in Québec and Ontario. As a retailer, franchisor, distributor, and manufacturer, the company operates or services a network of more than 600 food stores under several banners including Metro, Metro Plus, Super C and Food Basics, as well as of more than 650 drugstores primarily under the Jean Coutu, Brunet, Metro Pharmacy and Drug Basics banners, providing employment to almost 90,000 people.
Vice President, Public Affairs and Communications
514 643-1009 or 1 800 463-2190