Invest Ottawa Announces New CEO

Posted in Press Releases
Feb 9, 2017

Invest Ottawa Announces Michael Tremblay as New President and CEO

Fortune 100 Business Executive to Lead Invest Ottawa’s Evolution in Collaboration with Our Community

Ottawa, Ontario; January 27, 2017: Invest Ottawa, the city’s premier economic development agency, today announced the selection of its new President and CEO. Following a rigorous recruitment process managed by Boyden Executive Search, a CEO Selection Committee comprised of seven Ottawa leaders chose Michael Tremblay to serve as Invest Ottawa’s new President and CEO, and lead the evolution of the organization. He will officially take office on March 2, 2017.

Headshot of Michael Tremblay

Michael Tremblay

Mr. Tremblay brings more than 30 years of executive leadership experience with multinational corporations to Invest Ottawa and its stakeholders, most recently from Microsoft Canada where he served as Vice President, Public Services for over a decade. As part of this Fortune 100 company, he led and drove the growth of public sector business; collaborated extensively with employees, partners and customers; and contributed to Microsoft’s Canadian leadership team.

Prior to joining Microsoft, he served as a Senior Vice President with SAP Canada and Fujitsu Consulting, and as a Vice President with JDS Uniphase, EDS Systemhouse and Digital Equipment Corporation. An Ottawa native, Mr. Tremblay is also deeply engaged in the community, contributing to the Algonquin College Board of Governors and Foundation Board for more than 13 years, and audit and advocacy committees with the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario for the last six years.

Initiated in 2016, Boyden’s Executive Search was chosen to lead the Invest Ottawa CEO search process together with a selection committee comprised of seven Ottawa leaders from industry and academia who represent different stakeholder interests. Together, these leaders executed a rigorous, highly collaborative and criteria-driven process that attracted a very broad and diverse mix of highly qualified candidates. Michael’s executive experience, collaborative approach, and passion to lead the next phase of Invest Ottawa’s evolution made him an ideal candidate.

Within the capacity of CEO, and guided by a mission to make Ottawa the best place in Canada to start and grow a business, Michael will work closely with employees, partners, and investors to catalyze the growth and success of local entrepreneurs and firms, and our regional economy. He will build on the strong foundation established by Bruce Lazenby who served as the Inaugural President and CEO of Invest Ottawa from 2011-2016.

“I am honoured to join Invest Ottawa as President and CEO, and work with our stakeholders to help realize our economic development objectives, and chart a new innovation future for our region,” said Michael Tremblay, incoming President and CEO of Invest Ottawa. “I am so proud to work for a city that boasts more than 1,700 technology firms that employ more than 68,000 people across knowledge-based industries. Bolstered by exciting developments in cybersecurity, 5G, autonomous vehicles, smart cities, and other strategic initiatives across our region, we have a unique opportunity to come together and make Ottawa an internationally recognized innovation epicenter that benefits our entire community.”

“On behalf of Ottawa City Council, I am delighted to welcome Michael as President and CEO of Invest Ottawa,” said Mayor Jim Watson. “As we enter a landmark year, Invest Ottawa will play an increasingly pivotal role in the economic transformation of our city. As CEO, Michael brings the leadership experience, drive and expertise required to help us increase the competitiveness of our industries, grow our economy, attract good jobs to Ottawa and achieve our innovation goals.”

“The selection of a CEO is the one of the most important decisions a Board of Directors undertakes,” said David Ritonja, Chair of the Board of Invest Ottawa. “The CEO has a profound impact on the organization and the community it serves – from corporate strategy to execution, and, ultimately, corporate performance. Michael has a proven track record in the growth of high performance teams and organizations. Working closely with our employees and stakeholders, he will chart the evolution of Invest Ottawa and create new opportunities for our community.”

“I have had the privilege of working with Michael as a Member of our Board of Governors and champion of our institution since the beginning of my tenure in 2014,” said Cheryl Jensen, President of Algonquin College and member of the CEO Selection Committee. “When coupled with his contribution as the former Chair and Member of the Algonquin Foundation Board, he has dedicated more than 13 years of volunteer service to our college and students. Within this new CEO role, Michael will help to facilitate even greater cooperation with Ottawa’s thriving post-secondary community.”

“The depth of Michael’s experience as a business leader, an innovator, and technocrat both here and abroad bodes well for the entire Invest Ottawa ecosystem,” said Jason Flick, Co-Founder and CEO of You.i TV, Invest Ottawa Director and member of the CEO Selection Committee. “With Michael’s expertise in building and scaling businesses, coupled with the team in place today at Invest Ottawa, the entrepreneurial community will benefit significantly. It’s a winning combination that will be sure to catalyze the growth and commercial success of Ottawa firms.”

“On behalf of the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards (ICBY), I am delighted to welcome Michael as the new CEO of Invest Ottawa, our anchor tenant and key strategic partner,” said Steve West, Chair of the Board of ICBY and member of the CEO Selection Committee. “Michael will work closely with the Boards of Directors of Invest Ottawa and ICBY, our partners and stakeholders on many exciting opportunities. This includes the definition and execution a strategy that further strengthens our collaboration, harnesses the power of our collective innovation capabilities, and increases our impact on Ottawa’s economy.”

“Within his leadership role at Microsoft, Michael directly contributed to the innovation agenda, objectives and priorities established by all levels of government,” said Denise Amyot, President and CEO, Colleges & Institutes Canada, member of the CEO Selection Committee, and Director of the ICBY Board. “This experience will be instrumental in guiding Invest Ottawa’s future evolution, building new bridges with government, and fostering new opportunities for our region. When combined with Michael’s strong communication skills, people management expertise and volunteer experience, it is a powerful combination.”


About Invest Ottawa

Invest Ottawa delivers economic development programs and initiatives that increase entrepreneurial momentum, wealth and jobs in the City of Ottawa and its surrounding region. Its goal is to make Ottawa the most innovative City in Canada. Invest Ottawa services include start-up incubation and mentorship, acceleration for existing companies, global business attraction and local business retention, targeted sector development, commercialization, and marketing Ottawa’s diversified economy and high quality of life. For additional information, please visit:

About Boyden Executive Search

Boyden is recognized as one of world’s premiere leadership solutions and talent advisory firms. We work with globally-oriented, growth, and emerging organizations providing executive search, interim management, and leadership consulting services, committed to collaborating with clients to discover the right leadership solutions that enable them to meet their business objectives. Its offering includes: executive search; interim management; and leadership and talent consulting. For additional information, please visit:

Media Contacts

Karen Letain Sonya Shorey
Director of Marketing, Invest Ottawa Communications Strategist
Cell: 613.799.9794 Cell: 613.851.9416
[email protected] [email protected]

Backgrounder: Members of the Invest Ottawa CEO Selection Committee

• David Ritonja, Chair of the Board, Invest Ottawa; Vice President, Broadband Access Business Unit, North America, Nokia
• Steve West, Chair of the Board, Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards; former CEO of Nordion
• Denise Amyot, President and CEO, Colleges & Institutes Canada; Director of the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards
• Jason Flick, Co-Founder CEO at You.i TV; Director of Invest Ottawa
• Cheryl Jensen, President and CEO, Algonquin College
• Susan Richards, Contract CFO and Co-Founder, Givopoly
• Jim Roche, President and CEO, Stratford Managers Corporation; Director of the Board, Invest Ottawa; Director of the Innovation Centre at Bayview Yards

Back to Blog