Canadian Consulting Engineer

Pierre Shoiry to step down as head of WSP

March 15, 2016

Shoiry led huge expansion of Montreal engineering company into global firm. New president and chief executive officer is Alexandre L'Heureux.

Pierre Shoiry.

Pierre Shoiry.

The person who has led a Quebec consulting engineering firm to become a global phenomenon is stepping down. WSP Global of Montreal announced on March 15 that Pierre Shoiry, president and chief executive officer, will become vice chairman of the board of directors.

Shoiry has been CEO for 21 years and was in charge when the company (formerly Génivar) became publicly traded in 2006, joined WSP of the U.K. and adopted the WSP name, and — most recently, in 2014 — amalgamated with Parsons Brinckerhoff, one of the largest engineering companies in the world. Over the past two decades the company has also purchased dozens of smaller Canadian consulting engineering companies. As a result, since 2006 it has grown x 19, from 1,800 employees to 34,000 people today. They are located in 500 offices across 40 countries. The last two decades have also seen income grow from $176 million to $6 billion in net revenues.

Shoiry’s position as president and chief executive officer is going to Alexandre L’Heureux. L’Heureux is currently WSP’s chief financial officer. The transition will be effective once a new external chief financial officer has been found. Paul Dollin, who has been chief operating officer for the last two years, will continue in the same position.

Alexandre L'Heureux.

Alexandre L’Heureux.

L’Heureux said he was “both humbled and honoured to have the opportunity to lead WSP in the next phase of its evolution.”

The same day that the executive change was announced, the company issued its last quarter and year-end financial results for 2015. For the year, it reported revenues and net revenues were up 109% and 91% respectively. Revenues were $6,064.0 million and net revenues were $4,486.8 million. The company said the result was mainly a result of acquisitions, and that global organic growth was 3.2% (on a constant currency basis). It added, “excluding the anticipated contraction experienced by the western Canadian oil and gas sector, global organic growth stands at 7.8%.”

The company declared a quarterly dividend of $0.375 per share, with a 50.7% dividend reinvestment plan.

Regarding the appointment of Alexandre L’Heureux, Shoiry said: “Our succession plan will ensure the continuity and the development of our vision to be the best global engineering consultancy. Our industry is in motion and we anticipate continued global consolidation. I will therefore continue to support Alexandre and the management team in the growth and enhancement of our technical expertise and geographic footprint.”

He added, “In Alexandre, the board has selected the best individual to lead this organization to new heights. He has the industry experience, market knowledge and leadership style that make him the right president and CEO for WSP. I look forward to working with our board of directors, Alexandre and the team as the corporation continues on its journey.”

To read the announcement about WSP’s new CEO, click here.

To read the announcement of 2015 last quarter and fiscal year end results, click here.



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