Philippe II de Gaspé Beaubien
Launching a media giant
After graduating from Université de Montréal (BA) and Harvard Business School (MBA), Philippe pursued various business ventures and opportunities before taking ownership of Telemedia Corporation in 1970.Telemedia grew to become a leader in the media communications industry in Canada, publishing dozens of magazines such as TV Guide and Elle Canada and operating 79 radio stations. It played a founding role in setting up satellite delivery systems in Canada, as well as in the company that would become Rogers Wireless, just as the mobile phone era was beginning and revolutionizing the telecommunications industry.
Working with Nan-b, Philippe not only grew the family company’s holdings and developed the business, but he also learned the importance of leadership in establishing company values and making sure to instil an ownership mentality among his employees. Recognized as a visionary for his business acumen, Philippe also ensured that Telemedia had a prescient strategy to transition to the next generation, and he eventually turned control over to his three children.
Helping other families and businesses succeed
Philippe’s experience working with Nan-b and his children taught him the importance and centrality of the family unit, and the couple realized how much they could impart to other families in similar situations. In the early ‘90s, Nan-b established the Business Families Foundation (BFF), providing a new cause to further, and a new venture that Nan-b and Philippe could develop and grow into a global leader in its field. Today BFF is devoted to helping business families succeed and endure, empowering enterprising families to understand and address ongoing challenges by offering specialized education about family-owned business issues. Today the BFF is present on different continents and has partnerships with some of the top universities worldwide.
Continued philanthropic leadership
Always concerned with the well-being of the individuals and communities that surround them, in 1990 Nan-b and Philippe created the de Gaspé Beaubien Family Foundation. The Foundation is a pioneer in its philanthropic mission to encourage and support individuals, families and organizations that contribute to sustainable social prosperity within their communities.
Specifically, Philippe combines his determination and knack for innovation with Nan-b’s knowledge to work on projects related to enterprising families and women, public health and environmental causes. For example, the Foundation invested in a restructuring of a local health network, eliminating a multi-million dollar deficit. And in the environmental sphere, Philippe and Nan-b have managed to transmit their passion for social and philanthropic endeavours to their 6 grandchildren, having the latter run the River Mission project, dedicated to cleaning and preserving the Ottawa River and Quebec watersheds.
These are among the issues dear to his heart that Philippe addresses when presenting and helping establish additional partnerships with like-minded organizations, whether at the World Economic Forum in Davos or in working with the Young Presidents’ and World Presidents’ Organizations (YPO and WPO).
Renowned for his business instinct, vision and insight, Philippe’s counsel has been sought on the Boards of several multinational companies such as TD Bank Group and Bombardier Inc. He has also acted as Director with McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada, Black & McDonald and Reitmans, among others.
A sampling of additional previous appointments and directorships include:
- Harvard Business School Visiting and Associates Boards
- The Fulbright Foundation Program
- Founder, Chairman and President of Participaction (physical fitness & health programs across Canada)
- President and Chairman of the Broadcasters Association of Canada, and later the Magazine Publishing Association
- Chairman of the Advisory Board for Physical Fitness and Amateur Sports of Canada
Philippe has also been awarded or appointed to the:
- Order of Canada
- Canadian Association of Broadcasters Hall of Fame
- Honorary Doctorate, HEC Montréal
- Honorary Doctorate, York University
- With Nan-b, Honorary Doctorate, University of British Columbia
- With Nan-b, the Philanthropy Merit Award from the Quebec Chamber of Commerce
- With Nan-b, Canadian Business Hall of Fame