French is not a priority for Couche-Tard’s CEO

Brian Hannasch, head of Alimentation Couche-Tard for almost eight years, still doesn’t understand French. And although the language problem has made headlines for months, he has no plans to learn Quebec’s official language.

• Also read: Efforts to ensure that the price of petrol is always “competitive”.

Learning languages ​​”is not one of my strengths,” said the American head of state in an interview with the protocolciting his poor grades in Spanish in high school.

” I am not very good [en français], he added. I’m improving a little every year, but I still have a long way to go. »

broken promise

However, Mr. Hannasch admits that he did not take any French courses “in the past year”.

Upon his appointment in 2014, Brian Hannasch committed to learning Molière’s language.

He had also promised to move to Montreal, which he never did. He lives in Columbus, Indiana.

Not required by law 96

Three years ago, Alain Bouchard, co-founder and CEO of Couche-Tard, confided that in 2014 he had a “dead desire” to watch Mr. Hannasch learn French. He then changed his mind.

“I had a long chat with Brian and asked him to forget it. In fact I am. I said, ‘Look, I don’t want you to spend time on this because you have too much time to invest in the business,'” Mr. Bouchard said at Couche-Tard’s shareholders’ meeting, which was held in late September 2019 Press.

Last fall, Prime Minister François Legault said he wanted to persuade “company presidents in Quebec” to learn French, but gave no further details.

Bill 96, passed in the spring, imposes new language obligations on companies but does not oblige its managers to learn French.

MÉDAC proposal rejected

The retailer’s shareholders yesterday rejected a proposal by the Movement for the Education and Defense of Shareholders (MÉDAC) that Couche-Tard should make French its official language.

“Since its inception in 1980, Couche-Tard has proudly defended its French-speaking culture and ensured that all of its stakeholders are served in Quebec and are able to communicate and work fully in French,” the company said in a document sent to its shareholders .

Couche-Tard in a nutshell

  • 122,000 employees
  • 14,000 stores
  • 24 countries
  • 9 million customers per day
  • 750,000 cups of coffee are served daily
  • 133 million liters of petrol are sold every day

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