About Saint Mary's


Dr. Paul D. Sobey

Paul D. Sobey

Dr. Paul D. Sobey, FCA, BComm, DComm, former President and Chief Executive Officer of Empire Company Limited

Born in Halifax, and raised in New Glasgow, Dr. Paul D. Sobey graduated from Dalhousie University in 1978 with a Bachelor of Commerce and worked in Toronto as a Chartered Accountant with Grant Thornton. In the summer of 1981, he resumed his business studies at Saint Mary’s University, obtained his CA designation, and joined Empire Company Limited in 1982.

Dr. Sobey worked through various positions in Empire and its subsidiaries, assuming the role of Vice-President & Secretary in 1985, and President & CEO of Sobey Leased Properties Limited in 1986. In 1988, he took over as Chairman of Lawton’s Drug Stores Limited, and in 1989 as President & CEO of Atlantic Shopping Centres Limited.  Dr. Sobey completed an Advanced Management Program at the Harvard University Business School in 1996. In 1998 he became President & CEO of Empire Company Limited.

In addition to the leadership he has demonstrated in business, Paul Sobey has given his time and talents to many organizations, sitting on a number of boards, including Emera Inc. and Nova Scotia Power; as a Trustee of Crombie REIT; and as a Director for Scotiabank, Wajax, Empire Company Limited, and Sobeys Inc.  Dr. Sobey is also a trustee of The Sobey Foundation, The Sobey Art Foundation, as well as chair for the Frank H. Sobey Awards for Excellence in Business Studies.

A remarkable friend to Saint Mary’s, and a great inspiration for our aspiring citizens of the world, Paul Sobey has given the University more than two decades of visionary leadership. From service on our Board of Governors to chairing Hearts and Minds, an ambitious capital campaign that raised more than $45 million, he has played a critical role in making Saint Mary’s a special place to work and learn.

Over the years, Paul Sobey has received many honours, including the Fellow Chartered Accountant (FCA) designation from the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia, and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal. He has also received three special tributes from Saint Mary’s: an Associate Alumni Membership, induction into Saint Mary’s Turning Points Hall of Leadership, and an Honorary Doctorate of Commerce.

Dr. Sobey follows in the tradition of his father, Dr. David F. Sobey, who served with distinction as the first lay Chancellor of the University from 2008 until 2010.