One year after Lehman Brothers, the giant New York securities firm, failed on Sept. 15, and the recession plunged rapidly deeper, the Toronto Star named 10 recession winners who kept afloat during the toughest economic times since the Great Depression and have come out on top.
Among those hailed was Alain Bouchard, the chairman, president and CEO of Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc., in Laval, Que.
The Toronto Star credits Bouchard for integrating his Canadian convenience store chain, whose banners include Mac’s and Couche-Tard with the acquisition of the sizable Circle K c-store chain in the U.S., all in the throes of the recession.
Bouchard went on to acquire On the Run convenience outlets at Exxon, Mobil and Esso filling stations, bringing the Couche-Tard empire to 5,906 stores in the U.S. and Canada. Now the No.2 c-store operator in North America, it trails only 7-Eleven.
Others listed among the 10 were QSR leaders Jim Skinner, CEO of McDonald’s Corp. in Oak Brook, Ill; and Donald Schroeder, president and CEO of Tim Hortons Inc. in Oakville.