Thales Canada names veteran Ottawa executive new defence and security boss

Chris Pogue
Chris Pogue is Thales Canada's new managing director of defence and security. Photo courtesy Thales Canada

One of the capital’s largest defence and security firms has appointed a longtime industry executive to lead its Canadian operations.

Thales Canada said Monday that Chris Pogue has joined the company as its new managing director of defence and security. Pogue replaces Jerry McLean, who retired earlier this month after five years in the role.

Before joining Thales, Pogue spent two years as president of defence firm MDA’s government operations, overseeing the company’s defence, enterprise IT, government space robotics and other programs. In a career that spans nearly 20 years as a defence executive, he’s also had stints at General Dynamics Canada and CAE Canada.

Pogue, who holds bachelor and master’s degrees in physics from Royal Roads Military College, moved to Ottawa and entered the industry after retiring from the armed forces in 2003. He’ll head up Thales Canada’s maritime, sea, land, optronics and air programs, including a 35-year, $5.2-billion contract to supply repair, maintenance and training services for the Royal Canadian Navy’s fleet of offshore patrol ships and joint support ships.

Pogue said Thales is a leader in fields such as artificial intelligence and cybersecurity, working with dozens of SMEs in the capital region. He says he’s looking forward to helping the company’s 220-plus defence and security employees in Ottawa pioneer more new technology.

“It’s a global business,” he said. “It creates a pathway by which highly innovative Canadian IP can reach a global export market.”