The executive who has spearheaded Mitel's decade-long transformation into an Internet protocol-based communications company is the Ottawa Business Journal CEO of the Year for 2010.
Don Smith, appointed CEO of Mitel in April 2001, has overseen the overhaul of the company’s products, acquired a major U.S. competitor for $730 million and, this year, delivered the largest initial public offering in the city’s history.
Early in September, Mitel announced its first quarter financial results – which included $160 million in revenue and non-GAAP net income of $10.8 million – as well as Mr. Smith’s plan to retire.
“Don’s success at re-engineering Mitel and preparing it for the future is very clear,” says OBJ publisher Michael Curran. “And beyond that, he has demonstrated strong leadership on a local front.”
Mr. Smith is the eleventh recipient of the CEO of the Year Award, following in the footsteps of many of the city's top chief executives including Rod Bryden, George Cwynar, Ron Zambonini, Richard L'Abbe, Roger Greenberg, Peter Strom, Kevin Dee, David Dobson, Roy Mlakar and Karen Kinsley.
"Mitel's rich history of success is due to the innovation, experience and drive of our employees, both here in Ottawa and around the globe," says Mr. Smith. "I am honoured to accept this award as a symbol of the commitment and dedication of the entire Mitel team."
Mr. Smith was selected by a committee chaired by Mr. Curran, OCRI president Claude Haw, Telfer School of Management acting dean Francois Julien and past recipients.
The award is based on five criteria: corporate performance, leadership and vision, competitiveness and innovation, community involvement and timeliness.
“Don spent several years charting the course for Mitel in the 1980s only to return to the company as the CEO in 2001. He is a proven leader not only in the technology community, but in the community at large,” says Mr. Haw.
“He successfully steered Mitel back into the mainstream and completed the most significant IPO on NASDAQ in Ottawa’s history. While a soft spoken, mild-mannered gentleman, he is a giant when it comes to building a global company with market leadership.”
Mr. Smith will be feted at an awards luncheon on Nov. 2 at the Westin Hotel, and profiled in the Nov. 1 issue of OBJ.
The event will also serve as a fundraiser for the Ottawa Hospital Foundation.
For more information on the awards luncheon, click here.