Former Amazon, IBM exec joins Ottawa’s Decisive and BriteSky Technologies as CEO

Mitchell Carkner
Mitchell Carkner

A pair of fast-growing sister Ottawa tech firms is turning to a former executive from IBM and Amazon’s IT service management arm to guide the local companies through the “next phase” of their development.

Decisive Technologies, which makes custom IT solutions for data centres and other customers, and cloud and cybersecurity services provider BriteSky Technologies said Monday they’ve named Mitchell Carkner chief executive of both companies.

An Ottawa native, Carkner was most recently a senior executive adviser at Amazon Web Services. He worked with the leadership team at the global e-commerce giant’s cloud computing subsidiary to develop strategies for adopting new technologies.

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Before joining AWS in late 2019, Carkner spent nearly eight years at IBM, where he held a variety of senior leadership roles in Big Blue’s Global Business Services division in Canada and the Middle East.

The Queen’s University alumnus takes the helm of two companies that already have a successful history. 

C-suite shakeup

Founded in 2001, Decisive Technologies has twice made OBJ’s list of Ottawa’s fastest-growing companies. BriteSky, meanwhile, just missed making the 2019 edition of the city’s top-performing firms, finishing mere percentage points behind its sister company in 11th place.

But Decisive president Mike Smith said the companies’ leaders felt they needed to shake up their C-suites if they wanted to continue on that trajectory and compete on a global scale.

“We’ve had great success building both companies over the past five years, but the rate of growth and the pace of change in the industry made it obvious that we needed to strengthen our executive team with a CEO who shared our vision for how Decisive and BriteSky could and should evolve to meet the needs of our customers,” Smith said in a statement. 

“Mitchell has the experience, the expertise, and the vision to guide both companies through that next phase of our evolution.”

Carkner – who earned an MBA from Carleton University’s Sprott School of Business and served in the Canadian Armed Forces before retiring with the rank of captain in 2011 – said he sees an exciting future ahead for both companies.

“Our customers are dealing with the fastest pace of digital transformation ever and the need for speed and flexibility has been amplified dramatically,” he said. “Reliance on tech platforms has become more acute and those platforms need to continue to deliver results. Decisive and BriteSky are well-positioned to deliver the products and platforms that will enable digital transformations.”

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