Sylvain Toutant became President of GMCR Canada Holding Inc. in 2012, after holding the position of Chief Operating Officer for a year. He joined the company in July 2008 as President, Retail, for Van Houtte, having developed an impressive track record in retailing and marketing.
A business graduate of Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, Mr. Toutant started his career in 1985 at General Motors of Canada, followed by a job on the agency side with Publicité Martin.
In 1987, he joined Groupe Val Royal, the renovation product retailer behind Réno-Dépôt. From Brico Centre division Marketing Coordinator to Branch Manager, to Director of Advertising and then Director of Marketing of Groupe Val Royal, Mr. Toutant was well prepared to get involved in the conception and launch of Réno-Dépôt in 1992 and 1993. In 1994, he became Vice-President, Marketing and a key architect in the company’s development, helping it to become one of Quebec’s most admired enterprises.
With French company Castorama having taken ownership of Réno-Dépôt, Mr. Toutant was assigned to overhaul Castorama’s positioning in Brazil, while continuing his duties in Quebec. He was later involved in Réno-Dépôt’s move into the Ontario market under the banner The Building Box.
Mr. Toutant was named President and CEO of Réno-Dépôt in 2001. Following the company’s takeover by RONA Group at the end of 2003, he acted as President and CEO of San Francisco Boutiques, helping to develop the company’s turnaround plan.
From 2004 to 2007, Mr. Toutant was President and CEO of Société des alcools du Québec. Under his guidance, the state-owned retailer has seen major improvements in customer satisfaction, along with significant gains on the financial performance front.
Mr. Toutant was chosen as one of the 2001 winners in the annual Top 40 Under 40 competition of Canadian achievers. In 2003, he was awarded the title of New Performer, Executive category, by the firm Perform, which honors business leaders who have made outstanding contributions to Quebec’s economic development. That same year, he received an Award of Distinction from Concordia University’s John Molson School of Business.
Mr. Toutant serves on the boards of the Fondation P.H. Desrosiers, as well as Groupe Harnois and Vini-Quatro.