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SNC-Lavalin Set for Board Makeover

SNC-Lavalin Set for Board Makeover

Canada’s largest engineering firm is set to undergo a board makeover at its shareholder meeting next month.

Canada’s largest engineering firm is expected to undergo changes to its board of directors after the company announced its intention to appoint a new chairman and three other new directors at its shareholder meeting in May.

The company is in the midst of efforts to reshape itself in the wake of a number of scandals including allegations that it made improper payments to secure contracts in Libya and was involved in illegal fundraising in Quebec.

SNC-Lavalin’s Corporate Governance Committee recommended that Ian A. Bourne be appointed chairman and that Jacques Bougie O.C, Lisa Lachappelle and Alain Rheaume be appointed to the board as independent directors.

A director at the company since 2009, Bourne is currently the board’s vice chair and the chair of its audit committee. He briefly served as the company’s interim CEO prior to the appointment of Robert Card to that position last year.

Bougie has 25 years as a director and is a former CEO of Alcan. Lachapelle ran the Forest Products Association of Canada for eight years and has a background in public policy and global business and Rhéaume has 25 years of senior management experience and is a co-founder and managing partner of private investment management firm Trio Capital Inc.

Ian A.Bourne

Ian A.Bourne. Images Credit: SNC-Lavalin

The changes came as SNC attempts to repair damage to its reputation and renew itself following its alleged involvement in a number of scandals.

In the most serious case, the company stands accused of doling out $160 million worth of bribes to secure business in Libya. Other allegations revolve around the company allegedly paying $22 million to secure work on the McGill University Health Centre in Montreal and its alleged involvement in illegal fund-raising for political parties in Quebec over a 12-year period.

In a joint statement, Bourne and Morgan said SNC engaged an international executive search firm to assist with the process and that after considering a number of candidates, they have the right people to take the firm forward.

“The goal of this ongoing process is to recruit highly qualified, dedicated and independent candidates who possess the reputation, experience and expertise to adapt to the evolving needs of the Company and its shareholders,” the statement read. “These director nominees certainly meet this goal.”

By Andrew Heaton

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