Laurent Beaudoin

Laurent Beaudoin, business executive (b at Laurier Station, Qc, 13 May 1938). After earning a BA at Nova Scotia's Collège Sainte-Anne, he became a chartered accountant, and graduated with a Master of Commerce from the Université de Sherbrooke. It was there that he would meet his future wife, Claire, daughter of Joseph-Armand BOMBARDIER, who invented the tracked vehicles for land transport on snow, in his Valcourt, Québec workshop.

Laurent Beaudoin began his career in Québec in 1961 in the accounting firm of Beaudoin Morin Dufresne where he built up a practice over a two-year period. He joined Auto-Neige Bombardier in 1963 as comptroller, became General Manager the following year, and President in 1966. A trail blazer, he saw a future in snowmobiling as a sport, and as of 1967 reoriented the company.

In 1974, he initiated diversification in rail passenger transport thanks to a subway contract in Montréal and subsequent contracts in New York and for the tunnel under the English Channel. In 1986, he oversaw BOMBARDIER's entry into aeronautics through acquisitions: CANADAIR in Montréal; Learjet in the United States; DE HAVILLAND in Ontario; and Shorts in Northern Ireland. Bombardier became the third manufacturer of civil aircraft after Boeing and Airbus, and increased the launching of regional and more comfortable business aircraft in a market that was undergoing massive changes.

Laurent Beaudoin sits on several advisory committees and has received numerous prizes and honorary doctorates. He was named Companion of the Order of Canada (1989) and officier de l'Ordre du Québec (1990). In April 1992, the International Chamber of Commerce gave him the title of International Businessman of the Year for Canada, and in October, the World Trade Institute inducted him into the World Trade Hall of Fame. Laurent Beaudoin is the recipient of numerous national and international awards, among them: the Ernst & Young Lifetime Achievement Award (Quebec, October 2000), and Entrepreneur of the Year awarded by the Canadian Youth Business Foundation. Since June 2000, Laurent Beaudoin has been on the advisory committee of Lazard Canada, and as of 2003, has occupied the position of Chairman of the Board for Bombardier Produits Récréatifs Inc.