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Olymel President Rejean Nadeau speaks to reporters at a news conference in Montreal, on Feb. 14, 2007.RYAN REMIORZ/The Canadian Press

The chief executive of Quebec-based meat processor Olymel has died from cancer at the age of 71.

Rejean Nadeau had a long career in the sector, joining La Coop federee (now Sollio Groupe cooperatif) in 1976 and had managed OIymel since 1996.

He was responsible for an expansion that allowed Olymel to be active in Quebec, in Ontario, New Brunswick, Saskatchewan and Alberta.

The company says Nadeau died of sudden and virulent cancer. He is survived by his wife, two children and grandchildren.

He informed the Olymel team of his inability to continue his duties due to the illness on Oct. 7.

Yanick Gervais, senior vice-president, operations, has been appointed interim president and CEO.