MONTREAL — Quebec drug chain Uniprix Group has named Philippe Duval president and chief executive officer.
Duval succeeds longtime Uniprix CEO François Castonguay, who had announced in late August that he would be stepping down for health reasons. His departure was effective January 31.
Before joining the Uniprix Group, Duval was general manager of the Society for the Celebration of Montreal’s 375th Anniversary (which is in 2017) and, from 2008 to 2013, president of the Société des alcools du Québec (SAQ), a government-owned corporation responsible for the sale of alcoholic beverages in Quebec.
“Mr. Duval has impressive expertise in retail and management, which is very important for our 375 affiliated pharmacies that operate in a highly competitive environment, heavily influenced by informed and demanding consumers,” Uniprix chairman Normand Bonin said in a statement.
Uniprix operates under a franchise model, and its retail network encompasses 387 drug stores across Quebec under the banners Uniprix, Uniprix Clinique and Uniprix Santé.
In announcing Duval’s appointment, the company says Duval is very comfortable with the group’s “franchisor/franchisee” business model, and with the entrepreneurial spirit of its shareholders.
“I am a field manager,” Duval said, “and I am convinced that success, best practices and great ideas stem from having senior managers on the ground.”
Castonguay has been the head of Uniprix for 20 years. In announcing his departure in August, Uniprix said he would remain as a special consultant to his replacement. Duval is the third president and CEO of the 37-year-old company.
Castonguay said his decision to resign was not easy. “A few years ago I had health problems, and now these problems are back,” he commented over the summer.
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