Richard Ivey School of Business

Richard Ivey School of Business

March 11, 2009 12:06 ET

Richard J. Currie Named Ivey Business Leader of the Year

Attention: Assignment Editor, Business/Financial Editor, Education Editor, News Editor TORONTO, ON--(Marketwire - March 11, 2009) - Richard J. Currie, Past Chairman, BCE Inc. and former President, Loblaw Companies Limited and George Weston Limited will receive this year's Ivey Business Leader Award at a gala dinner on October 14, 2009.

From transforming Canada's retail landscape to putting his stamp on BCE, Canada's most widely-held company, Mr. Currie's achievements and contributions to Canadian business are exemplary. He was President of Loblaw Cos. for 25 years, from 1976 to 2001 and of George Weston Limited from 1996 to 2002.

Mr. Currie most recently served as Chairman of the Board of BCE (Bell Canada) Inc., retiring in February 2009, after a business career spanning five decades. While he plans to step back from running companies, Mr. Currie will continue giving back to the community. Since 2003, he has served as Chancellor of the University of New Brunswick where he has developed the Richard J. Currie (athletic and convocation) Center. He has also generously endowed entrance scholarships, presently the most valuable in Atlantic Canada.

"It's fair to say that every Canadian has been touched in some way by his contributions to the business world," said Carol Stephenson, Dean, Richard Ivey School of Business. "His career has been impressive. I don't know of many other Canadian business leaders who managed to increase the market value of their company more than 25 per cent a year for more than two decades."

Under Mr. Currie's leadership, the market value of Loblaw increased to more than $14 billion from $40 million. During his six years as President of George Weston Limited, its share price increased more than seven-fold to $124 a share from $16 a share, raising its equity value to almost $17 billion from about $2 billion.

"I am extremely pleased to honour Richard Currie for his business accomplishments as well as his service in the community," said Tim Hockey, President & CEO, TD Canada Trust and Co-chair of the Ivey Business Leader Award Committee. "He has tirelessly given his time to further educational, charitable and cultural initiatives."

Mr. Currie has served on the boards of many educational and non-profit initiatives and has contributed generously to them. He has supported Chairs in Health Professions Education to the University Health Network and in Canadian Business History at the University of Toronto. He has endowed the position of Director of Education and Programming at the Art Gallery of Ontario and rebuilt the dining hall at the National Ballet School in Toronto.

Created in 1991 by the Ivey Alumni Association/Toronto Chapter, the Ivey Business Leader Award honours individuals and organizations who have made a significant contribution to the advancement of business in Canada, and reflect the ideals of the Richard Ivey School of Business.

Mr. Currie was born in Saint John, New Brunswick. He attended the University of New Brunswick and graduated from Dalhousie University, with a degree in chemical engineering.
Following a career as Refining Superintendent at Atlantic Sugar Refineries, he graduated from Harvard Business School and worked for management consultants McKinsey & Company, before joining Loblaw Cos. in 1972.

In 1997, Mr. Currie was appointed a Member and in 2004 was promoted to Officer of the Order of Canada. Mr. Currie has been selected Canada's Outstanding CEO of the Year, elected to the Canadian Business Hall of Fame and inducted into the New Brunswick Business Hall of Fame. In 2005, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Retail Council of Canada and was named "one of Canada's Ten Greatest Chief Executives of All-Time" by the Globe and Mail.
Mr. Currie has also served as Chairman of the Advisory Board at the Richard Ivey School of Business and as a member of the Visiting Committee to the Harvard Business School.

Richard J. Currie joins an esteemed list of past Ivey Business Leader Award recipients demonstrating leadership in both business and their communities. Past recipients of the award include:
* 2008 - Dominic D'Alessandro, President & CEO, Manulife Financial
* 2007 - Claude Lamoureux, President & CEO and Robert Bertram, Executive Vice-President, Investments, Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan
* 2006 - Isadore Sharp, Chairman and CEO, Four Seasons Hotels Inc.
* 2005 - Peter Godsoe, former Chairman and CEO, The Bank of Nova Scotia
* 2002 - Gwyn Morgan, President and CEO, EnCana Corporation
* 2001 - Harrison McCain, Chairman, McCain Foods Limited, and G. Wallace McCain, Chairman, Maple Leaf Foods Inc.
* 2000 - Purdy Crawford, Chairman, AT&T Canada; former Chairman Imasco and Canada Trust
* 1999 - Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, led by Prem Watsa, Chairman
* 1998 - Paul Desmarais, Chairman of the Executive Committee, Power
Corporation of Canada
* 1997 - Frank Stronach, Chairman of the Board, Magna International Inc.
* 1996 - Jean C. Monty, President and CEO, Northern Telecom Limited
* 1995 - R. Jack Lawrence, Deputy Chairman, Nesbitt Burns Inc.
* 1994 - Robert Nourse, President and CEO, The Bombay Company Inc.
* 1993 - Cedric E. Ritchie, Chairman, The Bank of Nova Scotia
* 1992 - John C. Carroll, President and CEO, Molson Breweries
* 1991 - John M. Thompson, Chairman and CEO, IBM Canada Limited

The Ivey Business Leader Award, co-chaired by Tim Hockey and Karen Peesker, Principal, KAM Sales & Management Consulting, will be presented at a black-tie dinner at Toronto's Four Seasons Hotel. Proceeds from the event support the Ivey Alumni Association Toronto Chapter HBA and MBA Scholarships established to attract top students to the School.

About the Richard Ivey School of Business, The University of Western Ontario
The Richard Ivey School of Business at The University of Western Ontario ( offers undergraduate (HBA) and graduate (MBA, Executive MBA and PhD) degree programs in addition to non-degree Executive Development programs. Ivey has campuses in London (Ontario), Toronto, and Hong Kong. Ivey recently redesigned its curriculum to focus on Cross-Enterprise Leadership - a holistic issues-based approach to management education that meets the demands of today's complex global business world.
For more information, please contact:
Mary Weil, Manager, Media & Public Relations, Richard Ivey School of Business, 416-203-0664,


Contact Information

  • Mary Weil, Manager, Media & Public Relations, Richard Ivey School of Business
    Primary Phone: 416-203-0664