Veteran tech leader Michael Tremblay is stepping down as president and chief executive of Invest Ottawa to become president of Calian Group’s IT and cyber solutions division, the Kanata-based company announced Monday.
Tremblay will officially join Calian’s executive team on Dec. 1. He replaces Sacha Gera, who resigned last spring to become CEO of artificial intelligence software firm Jatom Systems Inc.
“With more than 40 years of business, and an exceptional team, Calian does incredibly important work for customers around the world,” Tremblay said in a statement.
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“The IT and cyber segments have a talented and dedicated team, and with Calian’s recent investments, a strong foundation in exciting customer solutions. I look forward to being part of that ongoing growth and commitment to customer success.”
Tremblay brings nearly four decades of sales, marketing, operations and general management experience in the tech sector.
In 2017, he told Techopia he got his start in the industry in the early 1980s selling semiconductors on March Road before becoming a vice-president at Digital Equipment Corp.
In the 1990s, he joined EDS Systemhouse as an executive vice-president before stints at JDS Uniphase, Fujitsu Canada and SAP. Tremblay then spent a decade as a vice-president at Microsoft Canada overseeing the software giant’s public sector accounts before taking the helm at Invest Ottawa in March 2017.
At the government-funded economic development agency, Tremblay led Invest Ottawa’s continued evolution in its new home at Bayview Yards as it boosted its incubation services for entrepreneurs. He also spearheaded the development of Area X.O, a 1,866-acre autonomous vehicle technology testing site on Woodroffe Avenue that opened in 2019.
Invest Ottawa manages the facility, the first of its kind in Canada. Area X.O includes 16 kilometres of roads connected with 5G wireless networks aimed at fast-tracking the design and testing of autonomous vehicle, drone, robotics and cybersecurity technology in a controlled environment under all types of weather conditions.
“Area X.O showcases the best tech of the region to the world,” Tremblay told attendees at Invest Ottawa’s 10th anniversary celebration earlier this year.
“Everywhere we go, we talk about Area X.O. More importantly, we talk about the companies that are showing up and delivering brand-new technology at Area X.O.”
The longtime executive added that he was proud of Invest Ottawa’s role in fostering new startups and helping scale local tech enterprises. The organization says it has helped create more than 14,000 jobs and attract almost $1.5 billion in direct domestic and foreign investment to the National Capital Region.
“I think our best days are ahead as a community, and I say that because I know the world needs Ottawa,” Tremblay said in late January.
In Calian, he is joining a company that is on track to generate record revenues of more than $630 million in fiscal 2023.
The IT and cyber department is one of four main business divisions at Calian, along with health, learning and advanced technologies. Although it’s had a bit of a down year due mainly to lower shipments in its U.S.-based product resale business, Calian CEO Kevin Ford said he believes the IT and cyber segment has a bright future under Tremblay.
“With his vast experience across Ottawa and North America, he will be instrumental in driving results and growth,” Ford said in the statement.
“Mike is a seasoned, empathetic and deliberate leader. Given his experience in large multinational corporations, his alignment to our people-first culture, coupled with his startup and innovation experience at Invest Ottawa, I know he’s the right fit for Calian on our journey to becoming a $1-billion company.”