Glen Clark is no longer president and chief operating officer of the Jim Pattison Group.
But chairman Jim Pattison said he is not going far.
The former BC NDP premier retired at the end of 2022 without fanfare, but will remain on the boards of two companies in which Pattison is the largest shareholder: lumber, pulp and paper producer Canfor and coal exporter Westshore Terminals.
“We decided a year ago that at age 65 he would retire from his job with us,” Pattison said in a Jan. 6 interview. “But he’s still going to be involved.”
Clark joined Pattison’s sign division as regional manager in 2001 and rose through the ranks to become president in 2011, and chief operating officer in 2017.
“He’s been with us 20 years, he’s done a good job, but time goes by and he’s getting older,” said Pattison, who is 94. “He’s going stay on some of our boards, as a director, and the new president is going to be Ryan Barrington-Foote, who is 44.”
Barrington-Foote, a Simon Fraser University business administration and economics grad, joined Pattison in 2001 from KPMG as a taxation manager. He advanced through the accounting department before being named executive vice-president in 2019.
Clark was Pattison’s right-hand man, responsible for a substantial part of Pattison’s privately held corporate empire, including Canadian Fishing Co., COMAG Marketing Group, Everything Wine, Genpak, Guinness World Records, Jim Pattison Lease, Montebello, Ocean Brands, Overwaitea Food Group, Pattison Sign Group, Ripley Entertainment, Sun Rype, the Jim Pattison Broadcast Group and TNG.
Clark has not responded to an interview request.
Why no public announcement or retirement party for Clark?
“Well, I can’t answer that,” Pattison said. “Because we didn’t really anticipate, we don’t consider Glen leaving the company, because he’s going to be still involved with some of the things that we’re doing.”
Former union organizer Clark was elected the NDP MLA for Vancouver-Kingsway in 1986, was appointed finance minister under Premier Mike Harcourt in November 1991 and succeeded Harcourt as B.C.’s 31st premier in February 1996.
He led the NDP to victory in the 1996 election over BC Liberal Gordon Campbell. The NDP finished with six more seats than the BC Liberals, who had more than 2 per cent more votes provincewide.
In August 1999, Clark resigned in scandal over the granting of a casino licence to a neighbour who performed renovations on his East Vancouver house. The conflict of interest commissioner ruled in 2001 that he broke the conflict laws, but a BC Supreme Court judge acquitted Clark of breach of trust in 2002.
Even before he was found not guilty, Pattison had hired him, on the recommendation of former NDP premier Dave Barrett. Barrett hosted a talk show on Pattison’s CJOR radio for three years in the mid-1980s before turning to federal politics.
Pattison’s website says the company had $14 billion in 2021 sales and 49,000 employees.
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