HEC Montréal awards an honorary doctorate to Jean-Marc Léger

May 27, 2024

Montreal, May 22, 2024 – At its May 21, 2024, convocation ceremony, HEC Montréal paid tribute to Jean-Marc Léger, economist and founding president of Léger Marketing, by awarding him an honorary doctorate. This honorary distinction bestowed by the School underscores his exceptional career and unrivalled impact in his field in Quebec and around the world. Léger Marketing is one of North America’s great entrepreneurial success stories, promoting Québec know-how in marketing research around the world. 

“Jean-Marc Léger has played a part in shaping Quebec’s identity. Before he went into business, it was mostly firms from outside Quebec that surveyed Quebecers’ opinions, with results often distorted by linguistic and cultural distance. Jean-Marc Léger has changed this reality by providing us with the scientific tools to analyze our beliefs, desires and aspirations. He has held up a mirror to us, explaining how we can better look at and understand ourselves,” emphasizes Daniel Jutras, Rector of the Université de Montréal.

“It is with immense honor and deep admiration that we pay tribute to this man whose name is now inseparable from the socio-economic evolution of Quebec. As a renowned researcher and manager, Jean-Marc Léger demonstrates a remarkable commitment to academic excellence and the promotion of knowledge,” says Federico Pasin, Director of HEC Montréal.  

A visionary who revolutionized his industry 

After starting his career as a researcher and then manager, Jean-Marc Léger embarked on an entrepreneurial journey, founding Léger with his father. Under his leadership, Léger became the largest Canadian-owned survey, marketing research and analytics firm, making 15 acquisitions and employing over 600 people in Canada and the United States. By developing innovative digital solutions such as the LEO online panel, customer experience measurement, the Analytical Division and CUBE AI, an artificial intelligence tool, Jean-Marc Léger has revolutionized marketing research with his strategic and innovative vision, enabling a better understanding of major societal issues. 

“Receiving this distinction is a real privilege. I founded Léger with my father Marcel in 1986 with the ambition of giving a voice to Quebecers. Since then, Léger has become Canada’s largest survey and marketing research firm, exporting Quebec know-how around the world. I hope my journey will inspire the next generation to shape the future of our industry,” says Jean-Marc Léger, economist, founding president of Léger Marketing and recipient of an honorary doctorate from HEC Montréal.

Highlights of his career:

  • In 2007, he founded and chaired the Worldwide Independent Network of Market Research (WIN), which brings together the world’s 50 largest independent market research firms.
  • Fellow of the Canadian Marketing Research and Intelligence Council, he was elected by his peers in 2023 to its Canadian Board of Directors, as well as to ESOMAR’s International Board.
  • In 2024, he was named one of Canada’s 100 most influential people by The Hill Times, and one of the 75 global legends of the survey and marketing research industry by Insight250.
  • He is a past president of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal and of the Publicité Club.
  • He is a philanthropist, and he has participated in numerous charitable causes, including Centraide and the Université de Montréal’s major fund-raising campaign.
  • He is a regular contributor to the Canadian media, he is also a pollster for the Los Angeles Times, the New York Post and The Atlantic magazine.
  • With Jacques Nantel, professor emeritus at HEC Montréal, and Pierre Duhamel, development advisor for Pôle D HEC Montréal, he co-wrote the best-selling book Le Code Québec: les sept différences qui font de nous un peuple unique au monde, which inspired a documentary series broadcast on Télé-Québec.

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About HEC Montreal

An internationally renowned French-language university, HEC Montréal is open to the world and firmly rooted in the Quebec community. Since 1907, it has been training leaders in all areas of management, who contribute responsibly to the success of organizations and the sustainable transition of society. Its community includes nearly 14,000 students from 146 countries, over 300 faculty members and more than 110,000 graduates, who make their mark here and around the world. The School offers nearly 150 programs at all undergraduate and graduate levels, and welcomes more than 9,000 managers and executives every year.


Information HEC Montréal

Andréanne Gagnon

Senior Media Relations Advisor


(438) 827-1716

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