Montreal, Quebec, CA. Alain Ayotte, who had been with PBSC since its founding in 2009, has left the company and stepped down as CEO, the Montreal Gazette reports. The news comes while the company begins to close the sale of Bixi’s international arm. The sale process was initiated after Montreal’s auditor general and the Quebec government pointed out that Bixi did not have the authority to conduct international business.
While it has yet to be made official, Procycle, a Canadian bicycle manufacturer founded in 1977, is said to most likely to win the bid for Bixi’s international operations. If Procycle does win the bid, Trek, which owns B-cycle, will no longer be the only major bike company in North America that has a significant stake in bike share.
Since its founding, Bixi, the company largely attributed with bringing bike share to North America, has had a myriad of issues. In 2010, facing a dire financial situation, the City of Montreal lent over $37 million to the company–$32.25 million which remains to be paid. And in April 2012, PBSC was sued by 8D Technologies over contracts and intellectual property disputes. The lawsuit remains in litigation.
Bixi is associated with some of the biggest bike share programs in North America, several of which are set to launch this year, including New York, Chicago, and San Francisco. It is not clear how this transfer will affect those contracts or what will happen to all the federal dollars PBSC received from many US cities.