Montreal The Canadian Club

Robert Dutton
President & CEO - Rona Inc.

Photo of Robert Dutton

Robert Dutton has been at the helm of RONA Inc. as President and Chief Executive Officer since 1992.  From 1990 to 1992, he was Executive Vice-President and Chief of Operations at RONA.

From 1977 to 1990, Mr. Dutton held several positions, including Vice-President, Development at RONA, where he was responsible for all services related to marketing, retail operations, sales and corporate development.

Under Robert Dutton’s leadership, RONA has enjoyed a remarkably steady streak of sustained growth over the years and has now become the Canadian leading retailer and distributor of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. He has introduced, among other things, a whole new concept in big-box home renovation stores: RONA Home & Garden and RONA Le Régional (a mid-size big-box for suburbs). Mr. Dutton has strengthened RONA’s distribution network through massive investments in leading-edge information technology and by building one of the largest distribution centre in the country on Montreal’s south shore and another one in Calgary. He has also played a pivotal role in helping to consolidate the Canadian hardware and home-improvement industry by masterminding a series of major acquisitions, including the Cashway chain in 2000, Revy and Lansing in 2001, Réno-Dépôt in 2003, Totem in 2005, Matériaux Coupal and Curtis Lumber in 2006, Noble Trade and Dick’s Lumber in 2007 and Best-Mar in 2008.  Also, Mr. Dutton orchestrated RONA’s initial public offering and listing on the Toronto Stock Exchange in 2002, as well as our inaugural public offering of debentures in 2006.

Robert Dutton received his Bachelor’s of Business Administration in Marketing and Finance from École des Hautes Études Commerciales (Montreal) in 1977.

He is a member of the board of directors for various organizations, including RONA Inc., Quebecor Inc., the Montréal Heart Institute Foundation and Fondation de l’Art Thérapeutique et l’Art Brut du Québec.  In 1993, he became a Fellow of the World Academy of Productivity Science, and in 1994 received the Canadian Hardware Industry’s Outstanding Achievement Award.  In 2001, he received the “McGill University Management Achievement Award” as well as the “Opal Award” from the Multiple Sclerosis Society of Canada, both honouring his professional accomplishments and contribution to the community.   In October of 2005, he received the CIRAS Henry Signer Award from the University of Alberta Business School in recognition of his leadership in retail.  Mr. Dutton is also involved in many social causes and community organizations helping the young and people suffering from mental illness.

On numerous occasions, he has been asked as keynote speaker to discuss Ethics in Management, a subject which is at the heart of his concerns.

RONA is the largest Canadian distributor and retailer of hardware, home renovation and gardening products. RONA operates a network of close to 700 franchise, affiliate and corporate stores of various sizes and formats. With close to 30,000 employees working under its family of banners in every region of Canada and more than 15 million square feet of retail space, the RONA store network generates over $6.3 billion in annual retail sales.

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