Podcast: Picking a CEO of the Year, intensification outside the core, a retail giant's legacy

In this Behind the Headlines podcast episode, OBJ publisher Michael Curran speaks with OBJ editors David Sali and Peter Kovessy about some of the week’s biggest local business stories.

This is an edited transcript of the panel discussion. To hear the full interview, please watch the video above. Prefer an audio version of this podcast? Listen to it on SoundCloud or Spotify.

CURRAN: We have some really big news we’re sharing today, and that is the announcement of our CEO of the year. Dave, take it away with the announcement. 

SALI: The 2020 CEO of the year is John Sicard from Kinaxis. If you’re looking at companies this year and what they’ve done, this a really clear-cut choice. During the pandmeic, demand for the company’s supply chain management software skyrocketed, and its stock price has doubled – landing on the TSX list of the top 30 performers over that last three years. Sicard is an exceptional person and CEO, and his breadth of knowledge really stands out. He can talk to investors just as easily as he can talk to the employees who are actually building the software, and has a real passion for supply chain management.

CURRAN: Peter, there is a well known Harvey’s location across from the Billings Bridge Shopping Centre that is slated for redevelopment. Tell us about that. 

KOVESSY: A Gatineau developer put forward an application for a 26 storey apartment building to be built on the lot where the Harvey’s and auto repair shop currently sit. What is really interesting about this is that we are starting to see more and more development applications of this size and scope further away from the downtown core. Part of the application outlined that this was in response to increased demand for rental accommodations inside the Greenbelt and near rapid transit. 

CURRAN: An iconic figure in Ottawa’s retail landscape is retiring after a remarkably long career. Dave, tell us about this move. 

SALI: Gordon Reid, the founder of Giant Tiger announced this week that after almost 60 years as CEO, he is stepping down. He is a well known face in the local business community, taking a single store location on York Street in 1961 and turning it into hundreds of stores across the country – a nearly $2-billion-a-year enterprise. It’s an unbelievable success story, and now into his late 80s he says it’s the right time to step away. He is handing the reins over to Paul Wood, who has also been at the company for a number of years, but he still has some pretty big shoes to fill.