Guy Steps Down? Changes Within Cirque du Soleil

What’s this? Guy Laliberte is no longer the President, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Cirque du Soleil, his privately held company? It would seem so… stop the presses–this is big news!

A recent internal memo obtained to all employees dated February 25, 2004 outlined these changes, and more, that were on the horizon for Guy Laliberte and Cirque du Soleil as a company.

First, the appointment of Daniel Lamarre as the new President and COO of Cirque du Soleil, allowing Laliberte to virtually step back from the day-to-day operational responsibilities and focus more on the creative side of projects, which he said was the most dear to him.

“This change comes at a time when Cirque is facing new business and organizational realities,” Laliberte said. With many new ventures on the drawing board, Laliberte will be busy. Laliberte will retain the title of Founder, CEO and “Guide”.

The new role will be supported by five senior vice-presidents, including two recently created — Senior Vice-President of Shows, and Senior Vice-President of New Ventures). This change also merits a change to Cirque du Soleil’s Executive Board, which shall now consist of seven members — Guy Laliberte, Marc Gagnon, Michael Bolingbroke, Robert Blain, Eric Foumier and a position to be determined.

The second profound statement in the memo is an announcement of the upcoming departure of Lyn Heward, President and COO of the Creative Content Division. Her slated departure is 2005, however, Heward is remaining on-board as an advisor until her replacement arrives. She will remain an Executive Board member until that time.

“This year, Cirque is celebrating its 20th anniversary. When I look back on our accomplishments, I am proud of what I see. When I look ahead, I am confident that the future will take us still further. I wish Daniel the best of luck in his new role and I am counting on him and his team to support me as we pursue this incredible adventure.”

Cirque du Soleil Organization Chart
As of February 2004

-- Guy Laliberte (Founder, CEO, and "Guide")

	-- Daniel Lamarre (President and COO)

		-- Marc Gagnon (Senior VP, Corporate Services)
			- Suzanne Gagnon (VP Human Resources)
			- Daniele Savoie (VP, Info Technologies)
			- Charles Decarie (VP, Proc. and Bld. Serv)
			- Gaetan Morency (VP, Pulbic & Social Affairs)

		-- TBA (Senior VP, Creative Content)
			- Gilles Ste Croix (VP, Creation/Projects)
			- Luc Plamondon (VP, Productions/Projects)
			- TBD (VP, Show Quality)
			- TBD (VP, Artistic Products)

		-- Michael Bolingbroke (Senior VP, Shows)
			- Mario D'Amico (VP, Marketing)
			- Jacques Marois (General Manager, Touring Shows)
			- TBD (General Manager, Resident Shows)

		-- Robert Blain (Senior VP and Chief Financial Officer)
			- J.L. Deschamps (VP, Finance)
			- Francois Macerola (VP, Business & Legal Affairs)

		-- Eric Foumier (Senior VP, New Ventures)
			- Vincent Gagne (VP, Multimedia)
			- Rodney Landi (VP, Merchandising)
			- Ian Tremblay (VP, Musique)
			- TBD (VP, Special Projects)