On October 21st, Arise Technologies (TSX:APV) reported that industry veteran Dan Shea was taking over as CEO of the Waterloo solar cell technology company. When some media reported that a former RIM exec was taking the helm, it may have sent some stock speculators looking for the name Balsillie, Lazaridis or even Fregin. As it turns out, Arise may have exactly the man they need. Shea’s time at RIM, however, was a mere coffee break compared to the pivotal role he played in one of Canada’s iconic tech companies, Celestica.
Shea spent 27 years at Celestica, assuming progressively more senior roles, ultimately becoming Senior VP and Chief Technology Officer as the company grew from barely a billion in revenue to ten billion. Shea joined Celestica from IBM Canada as one of the company’s founding executives. One Celestica press release said “(Dan) has provided tremendous leadership throughout his career at Celestica and over the past few years has driven the company’s reputation as a technology leader.”
Nonetheless, in 2007 Shea was out, along with four other execs, when Celestica reported a quarterly loss of $60.8 million, mostly from a failed Mexican operation. Some reports said Shea had retired.
Dan Shea is clearly a tech head. He has an engineering degree from The University of Toronto, advises to that school’s Engineering Dean’s Advisory Board, and serves on too many other technology and advisory boards to mention here. What many may not know about Shea is that he has earned his stripes in the world of cleantech..Before corporations were headlong into greenwashing their brands, in 1999, Celestica became a key first mover and in driving the electronics industry’s transition to environmental compliance. Shea oversaw the company’s Environmental Compliance Acceleration Program, and became a noted expert in this field. In 2005, Celestica credited their Green Services Initiative, in part, with helping them win the Frost & Sullivan Electronics Manufacturing Services Company of the Year.