OCE president and CEO Tom Corr steps down following layoffs, budget cuts

OCE Tom Corr

Tom Corr, the president and CEO of Ontario Centres of Excellence (OCE) is stepping down from his role after almost a decade with the organization.

Corr called it “the perfect time” for OCE to transition to new leadership “given the bench strength of the organization.”

In an announcement on Tuesday, OCE stated that Corr will be stepping down from the role effective at the end of June, but will remain on the board of directors. Corr’s decision to leave as CEO comes just a couple weeks after BetaKit broke the news that the OCE had made significant staff cuts following a major reduction in its provincial funding.
 

According to the statement Corr called it “the perfect time” for OCE to transition to new leadership “given the bench strength of the organization.” He stated that the transition should be seamless.

Claudia Krywiak, the current vice president of corporate development, planning and strategic initiatives at OCE, will step into the CEO position on an interim basis as of July 1. OCE stated that Krywiak and Corr, who have apparently worked close together alongside the province of Ontario in developing initiatives, will work together to ensure a smooth transition. It also noted that OCE’s board is working to find and appoint a permanent president and CEO.

“Dr. Corr [PhD] is regarded as one of Canada’s foremost experts in bringing research to commercial success,” the OCE said. “During his time at OCE he refocused the organization to stimulate business-led innovation and accelerate commercialization of leading-edge technologies.”

OCE Board Chair Michael Nobrega, who apparently made the announcement of Corr’s decision to step down, stated Corr’s accomplishments “are too numerous to list”, pointing to two recent partnerships with the Ontario government, Autonomous Vehicle Innovation Network (AVIN) and ENCQOR 5G. However, alongside its recent staff reduction, 21 OCE run programs were recently cancelled or phased out thanks to Ontario provincial funding cuts to the organization.

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In OCE’s statement about Corr stepping down, Todd Smith, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, the ministry responsible for the majority of OCE’s funding and consequentially the funding cuts that have been ripping through Ontario’s tech community, thanked Corr for his public service.

“His efforts over the last ten years at OCE have had an important impact on Ontario’s innovation ecosystem. We wish him all the best in his future endeavors and look forward to working closely with Interim CEO, Dr. Claudia Krywiak,” Smith stated.

Corr joined OCE in 2010, prior to that serving as associate vice president of commercialization at the University of Waterloo, as well as three years as the CEO of Accelerator Centre. He is also the former managing partner of Catalyst Partnership, and was founder and CEO of Momentum Systems.

“Tom’s voice will continue to be heard at OCE which is a testament to the high regard in which the entire organization holds him and the work he has done over the past ten years,” said Nobrega. “Tom has done an excellent job in positioning the organization for continued success.”

Meagan Simpson

Meagan Simpson

Meagan is the Associate Editor for BetaKit. A tech writer that is super proud to showcase the Canadian tech scene. Background in almost every type of journalism from sports to politics. Podcast and Harry Potter nerd, photographer and crazy cat lady.