Marc Parent has served as CAE’s President and Chief Executive Officer since 2009. He joined the company in 2005 as Group President, Simulation Products, was appointed Group President, Simulation Products and Military Training & Services in 2006, and then Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer in 2008.
Mr. Parent has 40 years of experience in the aerospace industry. He started his career in 1984 with Canadair as an engineer on the Challenger and Canadair regional jet programs. Beginning in 1993, he held positions of increasing scope in aircraft product development, starting as head of the Challenger 604 program development team; in 1995, he headed the Q400 turboprop aircraft development program; and in 1998, he was promoted to Vice President, Program Management, with responsibilities covering all Bombardier aircraft development programs.
From 2000 to 2004, Mr. Parent held numerous executive positions within Bombardier Aerospace, leading a number of facilities and product lines. In 2000, he held the position of Vice President, Operations, at Bombardier’s de Havilland site in Toronto; in 2001, he was promoted to Vice President and General Manager of Operations of the Toronto facility; in 2003, he held the position of Vice President and General Manager, U.S. Operations, with responsibilities encompassing Learjet facilities in Wichita and Tucson; and in 2004, he returned Montreal as Vice President and General Manager of Challenger 300, 604, and 850/870 programs as well as the CRJ 200 Regional Aircraft product line.
Mr. Parent was honoured in 1999 as one of “Canada’s Top 40 under 40” leaders. He was also selected as a 2010 Fellow of SAE International for his leadership and contributions in aircraft product development and for his successes at Bombardier and CAE. He received the 2005 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Aerospace Engineering Leadership Award, and is a past recipient of the SAE Forest R. McFarland award.
In 2011, Marc Parent was named Canadian Defence Review’s (CDR) first-ever Defence Executive of the Year. In 2016, he was awarded the Prix Mérite 2016 of the Association of Polytechnique Graduates. In 2018, Quebec-based business journal Les Affaires named him CEO of the Year, in the Large Corporation category. In 2019, Mr. Parent received the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) James C. Floyd Award for his exceptional contribution to Canada’s aerospace industry. In 2020, he received the Bernard-Landry innovation award from the Quebec Association for the Development of Research and Innovation (ADRIQ) and the CDR named him once again Canada's Defence Executive of the Year.
In November 2020, Mr. Parent was appointed Member of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest honour, in recognition of his achievements that have greatly contributed to the development and growth of the aerospace industry in Canada.
In April 2021, Mr. Parent was awarded the Prix Prospère by the Conseil du patronat du Québec. Mr. Parent was recognized for his contribution to the growth of CAE and the growth of the aerospace industry in Quebec and Canada, as well as for his central role in the collaboration of companies for vaccination.
In September 2021, Mr. Parent was inducted into Canada’s Aviation Hall of Fame, a not-for-profit organization that honours and commemorates individuals who have made outstanding contributions to Canadian aviation. Mr. Parent was recognized for his longstanding commitment to the growth and development of Canadian aerospace.
In 2022, Mr. Parent was named an Industry Leader of the Year by the Living Legends of Aviation, and won Aviation Week's Philip J. Klass Award for Lifetime Achievement. And in January 2024, he was inducted as a Living Legend of Aviation, a group of 100 remarkable people of extraordinary accomplishment in aviation.
In 2016, he was appointed to the Board of Directors of the Business Council of Canada, in 2017 to the Board of Directors of TELUS, and in 2018 to the Board of Directors of the McGill University Health Centre Foundation. He has also been a member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Aerospace Industries Association of Canada (AIAC) since 2007, and was the AIAC’s Chair of the Board in 2009-2010. Mr. Parent also chaired the Board for Aero Montreal, Quebec’s aerospace cluster, from 2008 until 2010. He is a past member of the Board of Directors and Executive Committee of the Canadian Association of Defence and Security Industries (CADSI).
A native of Montreal, Mr. Parent is a graduate of mechanical engineering from Montreal’s École Polytechnique and of the Harvard Business School’s Advanced Management Program, and was awarded an Honorary Doctorate by École Polytechnique for his contributions to the aerospace industry in Montreal and internationally. Mr. Parent is an active pilot holding an Airline Transport Pilot Licence (ATPL) from Transport Canada.