Albert Jean de Grandpré

Albert Jean De Grandpré, lawyer, business executive (b at Montréal 14 Sept 1921). Educated at Collège Jean-de-Brébeuf (BA 1940) and McGill University (BLC 1943), he practised insurance law in Québec during 1943-66 before joining Bell Canada as general counsel. He became president in 1973 and chairman and CEO in 1976.

Always notable for his aggressive defence of company interests and his distaste for government regulation, he devised a scheme in 1981-83 to reorganize Bell Canada, a telephone utility under the regulatory authority of the CRTC, into Bell Canada Enterprises Inc - a holding company that largely evaded that authority - in order to free the company for growth. Thereafter, until his retirement in 1989, he preoccupied himself with directing BCE Inc's forays into foreign markets, especially in the Middle and Far East, where it won major supply and consultation contracts and established Canada's name in high-technology communications. After his retirement, however, many of the diverse companies he had added to the BCE empire had to be sold at a loss in changing economic times.