Alimentation Couche-Tard Inc. has announced that corporation founder Alain Bouchard, has decided to take a new role as founder and executive chairman of the Board of Directors starting Sept. 24, 2014, the date of the next Couche-Tard shareholders’ annual meeting.
At the same time, Couche-Tard’s Chief Operating Officer Brian Hannasch will be promoted to the position of president and CEO.
“Mr. Bouchard has been a remarkable leader. He is a pioneer in the convenience store industry and has taken Couche-Tard from a single store to a worldwide network of over 12,600 stores and 80,000 people,” said Réal Plourde, chairman of the Board of Directors of Couche-Tard. “The Board is grateful for his innumerable contributions to Couche-Tard in his distinguished tenure as president and CEO. We are pleased that he will pursue his journey in a new role as founder and executive chairman of the Board of Directors, where he will continue to play an active role in Couche-Tard’s growth and development,” added Plourde.
“I have had the privilege of realizing a life-long dream,” said Bouchard, “Of developing, together with extremely talented colleagues, a great, global convenience store and fuel chain we can all be proud of. Now, after more than three decades as president and CEO, it’s time to continue my journey with Couche-Tard from a new perspective. I see this change as an evolution. It will let me invest more of my time in acquisitions and new industry opportunities. I will still be at the office on a daily basis, will take part in the results review every four weeks and the budgeting process. I will also take part in the strategic discussions and serve as a mentor and coach to our next generation of leaders.”
“We have an amazing senior leadership team, and Brian is the right person to lead it. He has been intimately involved in developing our strategy, improving our business and he has played a pivotal role in the material acquisitions we made over the last thirteen years, including our largest and most recent, Statoil Fuel & Retail in Europe. His decisive leadership, his management skills and his deep experience across the entire value chain of our business uniquely qualify him to step into this role. He is well-respected across our industry, he inspires our people, and he embodies Couche-Tard’s core values,” added Bouchard.
“I am both humbled and excited by the opportunity to lead Couche-Tard,” said Hannasch, “particularly in a landscape that offers both challenges and unprecedented opportunities. We will stand firm by the DNA that has made Couche-Tard what it is today, and continue to act decisively to maintain our strong competitive position.” He concluded, “I look forward to building on Alain’s legacy and, together with our talented, committed, skilled and experienced people, from the shop floor to the boardroom, to taking Couche-Tard to even greater heights.”
The responsibilities of chief operating officer will be shared by Couche-Tard’s executive management team.
Hannasch joined Couche-Tard in 2001 as part of the acquisition of Midwest US convenience chain Bigfoot—Couche-Tard’s first step into U.S. territory. He quickly moved from vice president operations Midwest division to become vice president integration and then senior vice president North America, before being promoted to his current role of chief operating officer in 2010. Hannasch has played an active role in the steady growth of Couche-Tard from 1,300 stores and 11,000 people in 2003 to its current 12,600 stores and approximately 80,000 people worldwide.
Couche-Tard’s network comprises 6,221 convenience stores throughout North America, including 4,724 stores with road transportation fuel dispensing. Its North-American network consists of 13 business units, including nine in the U.S. covering 38 states and the District of Columbia and four in Canada covering all ten provinces. More than 60,000 people are employed throughout its network and at the service offices in North America.