Eight months after resigning as CEO of Quebecor Inc. for health reasons, Robert Dépatie has re-emerged with plans to run another family-controlled company, Quebec chicken chain Rôtisseries St-Hubert Ltd.
Mr. Dépatie will take over as president and CEO of St-Hubert in February, the company announced Wednesday in a press release that highlighted his previous experience in the food industry including a long stint at Heinz Canada.
However, Mr. Dépatie spent the past 13 years of his career at Quebecor, including a decade leading its Videotron Ltd. subsidiary, the cable and Internet division that has become the media and communications company's growth engine.
He was promoted to CEO in May 2013, when Pierre Karl Péladeau, son of Quebecor founder Pierre Péladeau and the company's controlling shareholder, stepped aside from management. But that role was short-lived and the company announced this April that Mr. Dépatie, who is in his mid-50s, would retire for health reasons the following month.
In a regulatory filing in late May, Quebecor revealed it paid Mr. Dépatie $7.8-million after his decision to leave to recognize his "outstanding contribution to the success of the corporation."
Mr. Péladeau resigned his board roles with Quebecor in March when he decided to enter provincial politics and he is now a sitting member of the Quebec legislature with designs on the Parti Québécois leadership.
But a source close to the company told The Globe and Mail in May that Mr. Péladeau remained actively involved in operations, a situation that "blurred the lines of authority" within Quebecor and contributed to Mr. Dépatie's own departure.
Mr. Dépatie said in the press release Wednesday he was proud to take over at St-Hubert, the privately owned company that was founded in the 1950s and remains controlled by the Léger family.
"I intend to put all of my energy and convictions to further strengthen the trust between St-Hubert and the people from here," Mr. Dépatie said.
St-Hubert, based in Laval, Que., has more than 10,000 employees and operates more than 100 restaurants primarily in Quebec but also in Ontario and New Brunswick. It also has a retail arm that sells St-Hubert-branded sauces, ribs, meat pies and chicken pot pies.