Iain Klugman, the longtime president and CEO of Communitech, who had announced he would be stepping down in 2021, will be staying on in his role to help the Kitchener-based innovation hub through COVID-19.
“I am committed to steering Communitech through this turbulence.”
At the request of Communitech’s board of directors, the CEO is now set to stay on until January 22, or as long as required to facilitate a successful transition to his successor.
In light of the current businesses and economic implications brought about by the COVID-19 pandemic Communitech’s board of directors asked Klugman on March 26 to delay his departure.
“I am committed to steering Communitech through this turbulence, and also to supporting our members, partners, and friends in the Toronto-Waterloo corridor through the current uncertainty back towards certain success,” Klugman said. “It is clear that ‘tech for good’ is needed now, more than ever, and that will always be core to our mission at Communitech.”
Klugman had announced in October that he would step down in early 2021, after spending 15 years leading Communitech. He was set to leave the position of CEO and president on January 31, 2021, which would have marked the official end of his current term.
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The hope is that keeping Klugman on for an extra year (at least) will help Communitech move through the current economic crisis and also allow the board and management team an opportunity to handle COVID-19 and the search for a new CEO sequentially, rather than concurrently.
The search for Klugman’s replacement had been slated to begin in early 2020, led by Communitech’s board of directors. The search was set to take around 12 months to complete.
Like many other Canadian companies and organizations, Communitech has felt the effects of COVID-19. In early March, following in the footsteps of many organizations, Communitech made the decision to cancel its annual tech event True North. The following week Communitech closed its facilities to the general public and instructed staff to work from home – like many other innovation hubs, incubators, and accelerators across Canada.
Since then, Communitech, which has a community of 1,400 technology companies, has made attempts to continue to offer programming, making many sessions and services available virtually.
“Iain’s been an exceptional leader for the organization, and this is yet another sign of his commitment to Communitech and the Waterloo region community,” said Dave Caputo, chair of Communitech’s board of directors. “We’re grateful that he’s prepared to continue leading the team through the COVID-19 crisis and into calmer waters.”