Director – Office of the CEO

Groupe Desgagnés Inc.

Groupe Desgagnés Inc. (“GDI”, “Desgagnés” or the “Company”) is a Québec conglomerate renowned for the quality of its maritime and land operations. It is headquartered in Quebec City, and its business units are present in major Canadian ports, on the Middle and Lower North Shore, and in the Canadian Arctic. Desgagnés stands apart for its range of diverse yet complementary national and international activities.

Around its headquarters, the business units operate successfully in their respective fields. Each, in all their diversity, must coordinate the overall strategy as defined by the Company’s Management and according to their own business objectives. In addition to promoting a sense of responsibility and the pursuit of excellence, this decentralization policy generates a productive and profitable synergy.

Addenda Capital has some 140  employees working out of Montreal, Toronto, Guelph and Regina.

Desgagnés is a private Quebec company made up of passionate, proud, and dedicated people. It is a company that has earned an enviable reputation and place in the Quebec and Canadian maritime community and that is looking to the world, while providing forward-thinking and inspiring leadership in environmental and sustainable development issues. Desgagnés is looking for proactive, strategic, and team-oriented leaders to propel it into the future.


Desgagnés has experienced very interesting growth over the years, enabling it to become one of the major and respected leaders in Canadian shipping while having an increasingly important presence worldwide. However, what makes its brand, its reputation, and its credibility even more important are its values of ethics, probity, integrity and respect of its commitments.

This evolution and growth have been achieved and continue to be achieved according to a management model based on the involvement of the owner and CEO in strategic issues, but also, and significantly, in a multitude of daily and recurring issues, requiring much time and energy from the owner and CEO and no longer leaving enough room for strategic thinking. This model is no longer adapted to the needs of the Company.

In order to continue its growth, improve its performance, adapt to market realities, and respond to its own imperatives, the Company must continue to evolve and transform itself in many ways, including its business and management model. In particular, the respective strategies of each of the business units: Their execution and deployment must be reviewed and integrated into those of the Company as a whole, stemming from a global vision while being supported by human capital in line with the realization of said plans as well as by an appropriate governance and organizational structure. With the same objective in mind, the Company has also undertaken a major technological and digital transformation accompanied by an in-depth review of its business, commercial, operational, risk management, health and safety processes, etc.

In addition, the current CEO plans to retire in the next few years. His successor will have to invest more of his time and energy in the realization of business strategies and their execution plan. As a result, he will have to be less involved and occupied with the administrative system and daily activities in his office, and be released from certain files, while being able to count on the support of a manager who can, in continuity, take charge of them under his leadership.

In this context, Desgagnés is looking for a Director – Office of the CEO. This position consists of supporting the CEO in his role as leader and manager responsible for the entire Company, taking charge of various tasks related to the day-to-day management of his office as well as certain specific files related to the management and transformation of the Company.

The Position

The main objective of the Director — Office of the CEO function, reporting directly to the CEO, is to make time, information, follow-ups, and decision making more efficient and structured, to reduce the CEO’s workload and free up his agenda, allowing him to focus more on future strategies and opportunities and their execution, and less on reacting to what has happened or on daily issues.

The incumbent’s responsibility is to support the CEO in his role as a leader and manager responsible for the Company as a whole, taking on various tasks related to the day-to-day management of his office as well as specific files and various special mandates related to the management, strategic development, and transformation of the Company.

The Director – Office of the CEO is also a key player in the management team, not only for his knowledge of current issues, but also for his strategic and global vision of the organization.

As a member of the management team, the incumbent is a trusted partner for the Company and for the CEO, and can act as an advisor to the CEO in various administrative, operational or strategic matters.

Finally, the incumbent is an important player in the organizational culture and ensures that it is perpetuated in each of his actions.

Key Responsibilities

In conjunction with his immediate supervisor and, where applicable, in close collaboration with the managers and employees concerned, the Director — Office of the CEO:

Management and Administrative Support

  • Manage the day-to-day operations of the CEO’s office and perform the primary and routine duties as assigned;
  • Play a leading role in the management of documentation and the preparation of files for analysis and decision by the CEO and, in this capacity, read and evaluate various files, reports and meeting documents, and prepare and draft documents of all kinds, provide the necessary, concise and accurate information and ensure that the files presented are complete and, where necessary, obtain clarifications and missing information beforehand;
  • Be the custodian of the follow-up of ongoing files and, as such, be responsible for conducting meetings with relevant stakeholders and prepare concise follow-up reports for the CEO;
  • Support management in the identification of priorities and ensure that the team adheres to them;
  • Evaluate requests placed with the CEO’s office, determine with the CEO the actions required and, if necessary, delegate the request to the appropriate person or department;
  • Propose creative solutions to the CEO on various issues and advise him on the direction to take based on industry or general business best practices;
  • Actively support the reflection, development, composition, and implementation of organizational policies;
  • Lead, with the CEO, the search for and selection of consultants and professionals and, where appropriate, follow up on and, in some cases, supervise their work;
  • May be called upon to represent or replace the CEO with certain internal or external partners, whether at meetings, work groups, events or via any other means of communication deemed relevant;
  • Maintain absolute discretion with respect to the information he gathers in the course of his duties.

Governance and Committee Management

  • Review and plan the annual calendar and schedule of the Senior Management Committee, business unit and departmental management committees and various ad hoc committees established for specific purposes;
  • Develop and update the charters of said committees as well as the list of their members, according to the evolution of the requirements;
  • Ensure that the meeting schedule is respected except in exceptional circumstances, that minutes and follow-up and action items are recorded in the recommended format and, if necessary, refer to the managers to ensure their execution;
  • Prepare agendas for committees chaired by the CEO, including the Senior Management Committee, take minutes and perform executive follow-up on decisions taken to ensure their implementation, particularly those under the authority of the CEO;
  • Ensure the preparation and review of documents and reports related to meetings attended by the CEO, including those to be produced by the CEO, and make certain that they are available in a timely manner while supporting the CEO in the implementation and follow-up of matters and actions within his responsibilities.

Risk Management

  • Be responsible for the risk management file under the office of the CEO’s responsibility and, as such, support the CEO in establishing, documenting, evaluating and mitigating these risks and ensuring their continuous updating;
  • Produce documentation and report related to the management of these risks while ensuring that the system for the continuous improvement of their management and mitigation is applied;
  • Support the CEO in the review of all Company risks and, if necessary, in the actions to be taken and the follow-ups to be performed.

Strategic Management and Transformation Process of the Company

  • Support the CEO and management in the definition of the Company’s overall strategy and the tactical, execution and operational plans that support it, and support their deployment across the Company;
  • Assist the CEO in establishing his annual strategic, tactical and operational objectives to be achieved and those of the managers of the Company’s business units and departments and, in each case, in establishing and implementing the criteria and performance indicators to measure them;
  • Support the CEO in the Company’s transformation process, including the review of its business and management model, the realization of its technological and digital transformation plan as well as the review of its human capital and talent management processes, its organizational structure and other elements related to its evolution;
  • Take charge of certain strategic initiatives and various specific mandates entrusted to him and, where necessary, conduct research and prepare appropriate documents and reports;
  • Be responsible for the implementation or follow-up of initiatives aimed at improving organizational processes and keep the CEO informed of the work progress.

Project Management

  • Participate, when required, in the planning, design, scope, implementation and evaluation of certain special projects, including the identification of the appropriate allocation of financial, material, and human resources required for their completion;
  • Coordinate and closely monitor certain projects through rigorous governance while assisting the executive team in facilitating timely and effective decision making;
  • Provide the CEO with brief, clear and accurate reports on the progress of these projects and their issues, if applicable.

Communications and Relationships

  • In conjunction with the CEO and other staff involved, manage the Company’s communications and public relations, including website and social media management and the underlying strategies;
  • Participate in the drafting or, when appropriate, draft press releases as required and as directed by the CEO, ensure the preparation of media materials and, where necessary, provide high-quality feedback and guidance to media organizations;
  • Manage the two-way flow of communication in and out of the CEO’s office, ensure the continuous flow of information between business units and anticipate issues, while being particularly sensitive to issues requiring diplomacy;
  • Conduct the necessary research to provide direction and outline for the CEO’s public or media interventions;
  • May be required to prepare and deliver public or private presentations.

Talent Management and Human Resources

  • Support the CEO and the Human Resources department in the deployment of a modern talent management culture throughout the Company;
  • Actively participate in the updating of the Company’s organizational structure, the definition of requirements in respect of talents and succession plans, as well as the composition and updating of job descriptions for senior executives, all of which are linked to the strategic and execution plans;
  • Contribute to the selection process of employees reporting to the CEO and, where appropriate, prepare the necessary documentation and integration plan;
  • Assist the CEO in updating and, when necessary, conducting an in-depth review of the compensation programs and bonus system;
  • Support the CEO in the annual evaluation process of the managers under his responsibility, in particular for the objectives to be met as set at the beginning of the year.

Change of Custody

  • Play an important role in organizational memory, transition support and support to the successor of the current CEO.

Other duties

  • Actively participate in the maintenance, promotion and development of the corporate culture, a team culture based on values of ethics, integrity, transparency, and respect, as well as passion, accountability and excellence;
  • Perform and exercise all duties and influence related to the position of senior manager, including the leadership associated with it;
  •  Execute the various mandates that may be assigned by his immediate superior.


  • Be a member of the Senior Management Committee and play a leading role therein;
  • Be a de facto member of all management committees and, where applicable, of various ad hoc committees established for specific requirements.

Skills, Knowledge and Qualifications

  • Completed university education (graduate degree is an asset) in an appropriate discipline (finance, accounting, administration, engineering, project management, etc.);
  • A minimum of 10 years of experience in a similar role;
  • Excellent command of MS Office software, with advanced functions in Word, PowerPoint and Excel;
  • Perfectly bilingual (English & French) both spoken and written;
  • Proven track record in relation to his responsibilities and duties, known for efficiency, versatility, tenacity, and being action and results oriented;
  • Demonstrated work planning and organizational skills with the ability to work effectively under pressure, manage multiple priorities, tasks, requirements and deadlines;
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and exceptional verbal and written communication and composition skills, with a superior ability to condense information succinctly and accurately and to summarize complex issues;
  • Proactive, passionate, inspirational and unifying leader with an innate sense of responsibility, commitment and professionalism;
  • Sense of priority and urgency with superior problem-solving skills;
  • Disciplined, thorough, and detail-oriented with a strong emphasis on follow-through and meeting deadlines;
  • Possesses strong business acumen, with an ability to understand the market, the competition and what is needed to achieve sustained operating results;
  • Possesses a sophisticated blend of emotional intelligence, judgment, discretion, diplomacy and respect for confidentiality;
  • Strong ability to navigate in ambiguity with a high degree of humility and maturity without a personal or organizational agenda;
  • Significant availability to adequately support the CEO is a prerequisite;
  • Autonomy and ability to perform his work and tasks independently;
  • Long-term vision and ability to create value and innovate; agent of change with excellent strategic ability, strong analytical mind and ability to synthesize; partner and business accomplice who contributes to the Company’s success as a whole;
  • Ability to rally around an idea and create consensus; Excellent negotiation skills;
  • Entrepreneurial, proactive, creative, energetic, passionate and action-oriented;
  • Developed business acumen, excellent negotiation skills and judgment along with a sharp practical sense; ability to make quick decisions and a sense of priorities and urgency;
  • Transparency and accuracy in his communications; 
  • Utmost respect for decision-making and governance processes;
  • Adhesion to the values of ethics, probity and integrity, as defined in Desgagnés’ Code of Ethics and Conduct. In addition to being a skilful defender of Desgagnés’ values and culture, embrace the principles of “Total quality in everything we do, and everything we are, both as an entity and as an individual”, and of “Always be proud of what we do, to always be proud of who we are”.

The masculine form is used only for the purpose of lightening the text and refers to all genders.

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Phone: 514 333-1535
1265 Berri Street, Suite 800, Montreal, Quebec H2L 4X4