Business students hear from the president of Cineplex Entertainment

By Dale Johnson Posted: November 2, 2016 4:00 p.m.

Ellis Jacob spoke to students in Business 400, Business Strategy.
Ellis Jacob spoke to students in Business 400, Business Strategy. Photo by Trevor Hopkin - U of R Photography.

The President and CEO of Cineplex Entertainment, Ellis Jacob, was the guest speaker at the 43rd annual Hill Business Dinner, hosted by Paul J. Hill and the Business Students’ Society from the Hill School of Business.

The annual Hill Business Dinner is the largest event in the Paul J. Hill School of Business, and a distinguished Canadian business leader speaks at the event. The dinner allows members of the business community of today to connect with the business community of tomorrow. At each table, there are four business people and four business students.

Jacob is the leader of Cineplex Entertainment, one of Canada’s leading entertainment companies with 165 theatres and 1,683 screens, serving approximately 77 million guests annually. He earned a CPA designation and later earned an MBA, was appointed a Member of the Order of Canada in 2010 and was named Canada’s Most Innovative CEO by Canadian Business magazine in 2013.

Jacob shared stories from his 28 years of leadership experiences in the motion picture exhibition industry.

“There’s a lot more disruption taking place today than there ever was. Strategies for long term don’t make sense anymore, because you have to be evolving all the time and changing what you do.”

He spoke to students in Business 400, Business Strategy, with instructors Lee Elliott and Jim Mason.

“I was really impressed with the students, and the University of Regina,” he says.

As the keynote dinner speaker, Jacob told the audience of more than 600 U of R students and Regina business leaders that passion is vital for success.

“Passion is at the forefront of everything we do at our company. It is also one of the top factors we ask our managers to consider when recruiting a new employee. You can always teach technical skills, but you cannot teach them passion.”
He has some advice for today’s business students – who are tomorrow’s business leaders.

“Persevere, create a network of friends, and treat people like you would want to be treated. And you need integrity, drive and teamwork. Challenge yourself. Don’t take ‘no’ for an answer.”