News > 2021 > Réal Jacob, Ann Langley and Gilbert Laporte named Professors Emeritus

Réal Jacob, Ann Langley and Gilbert Laporte named Professors Emeritus

August 20, 2021

Three retired HEC Montréal professors received the title of Professor Emeritus this year.

They are:

The title of Professor Emeritus is a prestigious distinction saluting the recipient’s outstanding contribution to teaching, research and the development and renown of HEC Montréal.

About the recipients

Réal Jacob holds an MSc in Industrial Psychology from the Université de Montréal and a Certificat d’études approfondies in Labour Science from the Université catholique de Louvain, in Belgium. Following a career as a consultant, he spent 35 years in academia.

Recruited as a Full Professor in the Department of Management in 2001, which he directed from 2003 to 2006, he also co-founded and taught in the Department of Entrepreneurship and Innovation. He retired in January 2019, but continues to provide training for HEC Montréal Executive Education (the École des dirigeants), including the Ascension program for aspiring executives.

In its evaluation of his candidacy, the committee on honorary doctorates and professors emeritus noted his outstanding contribution to the School’s teaching and renown, in particular the organization of knowledge transfer in research and the School’s relations with the world of organizations. As Director of Research Development and Executive Education, Professor Jacob, along with former HEC Montréal Director Michel Patry, was one of the main driving forces behind the creation of the School’s first research and knowledge transfer centres. In addition, he gave over 600 talks on knowledge transfer for decision makers and professionals from the business world, both in Quebec and elsewhere.

His expertise and contribution have been recognized with several tributes, including the Canadian Leaders in Management Education Award (1999), the 2012 Innovation & Knowledge Transfer Award from CEFRIO, and the Esdras Minville and Roger Charbonneau Awards from HEC Montréal in 2015.

Lastly, note that he was promoted last year to Vice-Chair of the Board of the Fonds de recherche du Québec – Société et Culture (FRQSC), after serving as a Board member since 2016.


Ann Langley holds a Master’s in Operational Research from the University of Lancaster and a PhD in Administration from HEC Montréal. She had a long and fruitful career lasting over 35 years in academia, the last 20 years as a Full Professor in the School’s Department of Management. From 2008 to 2020, she also held the Chair in Strategic Management in Pluralistic Settings.

Professor Langley’s partners and colleagues unhesitatingly salute her role as a pioneer in her research field, as well as her rigour, originality and approach:

“Ann Langley has had an enormous influence in different aspects of strategy and management of pluralistic organizations. She is one of the key researchers in the movement to promote processual approaches and the practice of management,” says Sébastien Arcand, Director of the Department of Management.

Her work on qualitative methodologies and other subjects is used worldwide and has been abundantly cited: over 25,000 times, according to Google Scholar. To date she has published 98 articles, co-edited 13 books, co-authored 49 book chapters and produced 17 papers in conference proceedings.

She has received many distinctions over the course of her career, often from international organizations or universities. She holds 3 honorary doctorates, from the University of St. Gallen, in Switzerland, the Norwegian School of Economics, and the Aalto School of Business, in Finland.

Her reputation and her research work have not slowed her commitment to teaching. She has directed several dozen Master’s theses and PhD dissertations, in addition to taking on a considerable teaching load: 28 courses between 2008 and 2020.


Gilbert Laporte was recruited by HEC Montréal as a Professor in 1976, after completing a PhD in Operational Research at the London School of Economics. He was promoted to Full Professor in 1986, and also held the Canada Research Chair in Distribution Management from 2001 to 2020, when he retired from HEC Montréal.

He is an undisputed leader in the field of operational research. Indeed, he is the world’s most widely cited researcher in his specialization. His prolific work has appeared in a tremendous number of scientific publications, and he has written or co-authored 20 books and over 550 papers. This research has brought the School considerable renown and had positive impacts on society in general, as the committee on honorary doctorates and professors emeritus noted:

“We believe that he leaves a remarkable legacy that reinforces our School’s strategic positioning in the fields of management sciences, in particular in the applications of operational research. He was an exceptional model for his colleagues, who benefited from his presence over the course of his career and today seem to be inspired by his example and his pursuit of excellence.”

Professor Laporte’s influence can also be seen in the appreciation and success of the students who benefited from his expertise and experience over the years. He directed over 100 master’s theses and doctoral dissertations and some 30 postdoctoral internships. His pedagogical skills were recognized in 2001 when he received the Grand Prize for teaching excellence from HEC Montréal.

His contribution to the School’s reputation thanks to the many distinctions he has received was an important factor in appointing him a Professor Emeritus. The list of awards and distinctions he received during his career is long, but it should be noted that he is a member of the Order of Canada (2018) and the Royal Society of Canada (1998).