Class of 1999
As Chairman and Founder of The Jean Coutu Group (PJC) Inc, Jean Coutu controls one of Canada’s largest and most powerful pharmaceutical retail chains.
Born in Montreal, Quebec, in 1927, Coutu studied medicine and then pharmacy at the University of Montreal. After graduating, Coutu worked for a cousin who had his own pharmacy and by 1959 the two were partners in three pharmacies.
In 1960, Coutu sold his interest to his cousin and used the proceeds to open his own store. Always sensitive to new trends, Coutu capitalized on the changing perception of drug pricing to open Quebec’s first discount pharmacy. By the end of the 1970’s Coutu’s concept of a discount drug store had become the norm in Quebec.
In 1969, Coutu capitalized on the growing popularity of his stores to start one of Quebec’s first pharmacy franchise operations. Since then his company has grown to become a leader in several regional markets including: Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick and the North Eastern United States.
In addition to his involvement with The Jean Coutu Group, Mr. Coutu is the Founder of the Marcelle & Jean Coutu Foundation. He is an Officer of the Order of Canada and was named to the Order National du QuÃ©bec in January 1993. He has also received numerous awards for public service and business excellence.
A spirited entrepreneur and humanitarian, Mr. Coutu’s mantra is, “Take care of the details and the rest will follow.”