Charles Sirois

Charles Sirois
Born (1954-05-22) May 22, 1954
Chicoutimi, Quebec, Canada
Nationality Canadian
Occupation Businessman
Net worth C$811 million CDN (2006)[1]
Political party Coalition Avenir Québec

Charles Sirois, CM CQ (born May 22, 1954) is a Canadian businessman. He is the founder, controlling shareholder, Chairman and CEO of Telesystem Ltd., a Canadian private equity company.

In 2011, he cofounded (with François Legault) a social and economic liberal centre-right political party, Coalition Avenir Québec.

Early life and education

Born in Chicoutimi, Quebec, he earned a Bachelor's degree in Finance from Université de Sherbrooke and a Master's degree in Finance from Université Laval.

Business career

Charles Sirois has experienced significant success in his business career. He is currently a director of the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, Cossette Communication Group and Orchestre Symphonique de Montreal. He led BCE Mobile Communications from 1988 to 1990 as its Chairman and CEO. Subsequently, he was Chairman and CEO of Teleglobe, the leading provider of international long distance and broadband services in Canada. He also served as Chairman of Telesystem International Wireless, and founded and was Chairman of Microcell Telecommunications, a GSM cellular provider in Canada best known for its Fido brand name. He was also a member of the G8 Dot Force, of the National Broadband Task Force, and was a founding member of the Washington-based Global Information Infrastructure Commission (GIIC).

Sirois is probably best known within investment circles for his disastrous purchase of U.S. based Excel Communications in 1998. Excel, which was a reseller of residential long distance services, relied on door-to-door sales and so-called multi-level marketing. While Sirois was able to sell Teleglobe to Bell Canada in 2000 at a handsome price of $6.5 billion, the subsequent bursting of the internet bubble and telecom bust forced Teleglobe into bankruptcy in 2002 and the writedown of $2.1 billion of Excel.

Charles Sirois is one of the founding partners of Enablis and has served as its Chairman and Chief Executive Officer from inception.

In February 2009, Sirois became the Chair of CIBC.[2]

Sirois had a net worth of $1.2 billion CDN in 2015.[3]


In 1994, he was made a Member of the Order of Canada in recognition for being "a visionary in the area of intercontinental communications".[4] In 1998, he was made a Knight of the National Order of Quebec.[5]

He holds honorary doctorates from Université du Québec à Montréal, University of Ottawa, Concordia University, Université Laval and the École de technologie supérieure.

Published work

In 1995, he published a book on the information highway entitled “The Medium and the Muse” (ISBN 0-88645-175-2). In his second book, published in June 2000, “Organic Management: Creating a Culture of Innovation” (ISBN 0-00-200053-9), Charles shares his management philosophy, along with his vision of the new economy.


Business positions
Preceded by
Bill Etherington
Chair of the Board of CIBC
February 26, 2009–present
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