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Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group has named CFO Stephane Lefebvre to replace Daniel Lamarre as CEO.
On Dec. 1, Lamarre will step down from the top post after leading the famous global circus troupe for 21 years, based in Montreal. Lefebvre will also become president, charged with continuing to grow Cirque du Soleil across global markets, as Lamarre transitions to a new role as executive vice chairman of the board.
“While there was no specific timeframe for me passing the baton after 20 years building this amazing organization, I feel privileged to have contributed to the rebirth of Cirque du Soleil and feel now is the right time,” Lamarre said in a statement.
“There is no doubt in my mind that Stephane Lefebvre, after being instrumental in the relaunch of our operations, is the ideal next leader to take Cirque du Soleil forward to the next stage in its evolution as a company founded on the conviction that the arts and business, together, can contribute to making a better world,” he added.
The changing of the guard at Cirque du Soleil follows the live entertainment show producer being heavily impacted by the pandemic. In March 2020, the creator of a host of popular shows in Las Vegas had to temporarily lay off 4,679 employees, or 95 percent of its global workforce, after suspending its productions worldwide because of the coronavirus outbreak.
In June 2020, Cirque du Soleil Entertainment Group filed for protection from creditors in Canada as its circus shows were shuttered during the pandemic. The court-supervised bankruptcy process included a purchase agreement with existing shareholders — including Texas-based TPG Capital, with a 55 percent stake, and China’s Fosun Capital Group, with another 25 percent stake — and secured lenders to acquire the company’s assets with a combination of cash, debt and equity.
Lefebvre, who joined Cirque du Soleil in 2016, promised a seamless transition at the top of the company as its stable of live shows worldwide continue to reopen.
“It is an honor for me to take the lead of this Quebec flagship company, one of the largest contemporary live entertainment producers of the world,” said Lefebvre in his own statement.
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