Lyne Castonguay is an international business executive with experience in manufacturing, retail and e-commerce. She has a proven track record in driving growth, fostering innovation, leading transformations, integrating acquisitions, while developing talented, and customer-centric teams. She has expansive global experience in North America, Europe & Asia. A native of the French Canadian city of Edmundston, New Brunswick and a graduate of the Universite de Moncton, Ms. Castonguay also furthered her education at Harvard Business School and Emory University.
After an incredible 14 year career at Home Depot’s head office in Atlanta, Lyne returned home to Canada in 2016 to join Sobeys, a subsidiary of Empire Company. She was most recently Executive Vice President (COO) for Sobeys Inc where she also served as a member of the Company’s Executive Leadership Committee. In this role, Lyne was responsible for customer and store experience, store operations, logistics and distribution as well as customer contact centers. Her passion for the customer and delivering exceptional innovative retail experiences have been cornerstones of Lyne's career.
As soon as she joined Sobeys in 2016 as Chief Merchandising & Marketing Manager, Lyne was a crucial contributor to the ongoing transformation of the company as well as laying the foundation for the national merchandising and marketing structures. She was the architect of Sobeys' success in stabilizing margins and sales and played a key role in creating the Ocado e-commerce partnership. She also focused on brand transformation and partnerships to build loyalty and trust of consumers which resulted in Sobeys being named one of the most admired companies in Canada and number one in the groceries–convenience sector, according to the Leger Corporate Reputation Study for 3 consecutive years. Since sports bring families and friends around a great snacks or a good meal, Lyne and her team signed major sports sponsorship deals with teams from the MLB, NBA, NHL and MLS enabling customers to have sports experiences that included Sobeys and its partners.
Under Castonguay's leadership the Sobeys team received many awards and accolades for private label product innovation and marketing campaigns. She was named and awarded 2018 Star Woman as one of the most powerful women in the grocery industry.
Before joining Sobeys in 2016, Lyne spent 14 years in progressively senior roles at The Home Depot both in Canada and in the United States, including Business Unit Leader and Senior Vice President of Home Services which was also inclusive of the acquired business portfolio. At that time, the acquired business portfolio included a company in the cabinet manufacturing space, a company in the B2B space, multiple sales management branches nationally and a commissioned sales force of over 1,500 sales professional in addition to over 4,000 third party installers.
During her time at Home Depot, Lyne also worked in various merchandising, marketing and operations role. She developed many business partnerships and brands through collaboration and customer centric product innovation. Prior to Home Depot. she was the Country General Manager for GE's Lighting division in Canada from 1996 to 2002.
Castonguay attributes at least some of her success to her “humble” upbringing in New Brunswick, working for her father in his retail apparel business where she learned to always put the customer first. Lyne strongly believes that no single leader knows everything. Better answers come from the collective brainpower of the team. “If I’m asked a tough question, I’m okay with saying, ‘Let me get to my team and we’ll have a good answer for you,’” she says. “I have always felt that if I surround myself with the smartest people I’ll be okay.”
Lyne and her husband founded a sports and athletic development business, Beacon Sports, in Atlanta focusing on baseball and softball. They are passionate about leadership, development, team building and coaching. They are also part owners of the Future Star Series and Program 15, a baseball scouting and development program based in Houston, Texas. She speaks to leaders in business and sports on the topics of vulnerability, courageous leadership, change, transformation, innovation and delivering results.
Lyne and family have been through some serious health challenges and almost lost their daughter, Sara. These events have made the family closer and brought perspective to ambition, leadership and work/life balance.