Dessau CEO Jean-Pierre Sauriol quits in wake of corruption scandal

MONTREAL – A major Quebec engineering firm has become the latest to lose its top executive in the wake of corruption scandals.

Jean-Pierre Sauriol has quit as CEO and president of Montreal-based Dessau Inc.

The move comes after his brother, a fellow company executive, testified at Quebec’s corruption inquiry about his participation in collusion and illegal political financing schemes.

Sauriol expressed pride in a departure letter to employees how the family-owned business had grown to become one of Canada’s biggest engineering firms and the 57th-largest in the world.

But he said it had become clear that if he stayed on board, the company might no longer be eligible to win public contracts.

The Quebec government has tasked the province’s stock-market regulator with issuing certificates to companies eligible to obtain contracts worth more than $40 million.

Sauriol says he decided to leave after speaking with the stock-market authority about conditions the company would have to meet in order to gain that certificate.

His departure is only the latest in a series of changes in the industry, which has been rocked by corruption scandals.

The country’s largest engineering firm, SNC-Lavalin, has also lost its former president, Pierre Duhaime, who now faces several criminal charges.