1987 Economic Economic

Former Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Bell Canada Enterprises Inc., A. Jean de Grandpré was a dominant figure in Canada's business community. His outstanding executive abilities have made him an inexhaustible source of inspiration for the new generation of entrepreneurs

Since he joined Bell Canada in 1976, Mr. de Grandpré has become the undisputed leader of one of North America's major corporations. He is the brain behind the creation of BCE which has allowed the company to be active not only in the communications field but also in the natural gas, petroleum, printing and commercial real estate sectors. In 1985, BCE became the first Canadian corporation to break the billion-dollar barrier in profits. It employs more than 100,000 people in subsidiaries operating in 30 countries.

Born in Montréal in 1921, Mr. de Grandpré studied with the Jesuits at Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf. In 1943, he earned his bachelor's degree in civil law from McGill University, finishing first in his class. After being called to the Bar, he joined the law practice of Brais and Campbell where he stayed until 1949. He later joined Tansey, de Grandpré, de Grandpré, Bergeron and Monet. It was with this firm that he first represented Bell Canada as legal counsel before regulatory authorities in Ottawa. In 1956 and 1957, he acted as legal counsel for the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Radio and Television. In 1961, he was named Queen's Counsel.

His strong defence of Bell Canada's interests led to his being hired by the corporation in 1966, as General Counsel. Eight months later, he earned his first promotion and became Vice-President, Law. His star continued to rise: he was named Executive Vice-President, Administration in 1968; Executive Vice-President, Eastern Region in 1970; and President of the company in 1973. In 1976, he was named Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer. Mr. de Grandpré accepted the position of Chairman or the Board and Chief Executive Officer of BCE on April 28, 1983, when the management company was created.

A widely respected executive who stays at the leading edge of new developments in the world of business, Mr. de Grandpré was appointed on a number or boards of governors, including those of Bell Canada, the Toronto-Dominion Bank, TransCanada Pipelines, Northern Telecom Ltd., the Seagram Company Ltd., Stelco Inc., Sun Life Assurance Company of Canada, as well as Chrysler Corporation and Chrysler Canada Ltd.; and of E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company of Wilmington, Delaware. His international reputation has earned him seats on the International Advisory Boards or Goldman Sachs & Company and the Chemical Bank, both of New York, and on the Board of Trustees of the Conference Board of New York.

Mr. de Grandpré's contributions to numerous professional, educational and community activities led to his nomination as Companion of the Order of Canada. He is Chancellor of McGill University, a life member of the Canadian Bar Association, member emeritus of the Association of the Canada General Counsels and a member of the Bar of the Province of Québec.