On December 30th, Open Text (TSX:OTC) Chairman Tom Jenkins, “for his innovative contributions to the development of the high technology industry…” received the Order of Canada.
Those in the Canadian tech community know Jenkins as a tireless proponent of Canada making its way up the value chain. Jenkins is the Chair of the Canadian Digital Media Network. He is also an appointed member of the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada, past appointed member of the Government of Canada’s Competition Policy Review Panel, and past appointed member of the Province of Ontario’s Ontario Commercialization Network Review Committee. Jenkins helped found Communitech, the Waterloo based network of hundreds of companies and organizations, and recently led an expert panel that reviewed the Canadian government’s R&D spending, concluding it was antiquated and unnecessarily complex.
Jenkins was President, then CEO of Open Text from 1994 to 2005, before handing over the title to John Shackleton, who recently retired from the role. On January 2nd, former Rackable President and CEO Mark Barrenechea will take the helm at Open Text.
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This past August, Open Text (TSX:OTC), which has become a leader in the Enterprise Content Management space, going head to head with the likes of Oracle and Microsoft, joined Research in Motion in the Waterloo billion dollar club, reporting fiscal 2011 revenues of $1.03 billion.
The Order of Canada was instituted in 1967 by Queen Elizabeth the Second on the advice of Prime Minister Lester Pearson. The Award “recognizes the achievement of outstanding merit or distinguished service by Canadians who made a major difference to Canada through lifelong contributions in every field of endeavour, as well as the efforts made by non-Canadians who have made the world better by their actions.”
This year’s appointees illustrate the diversity of the award, Jenkins receives the order alongside retired NHL coach Scotty Bowman, former Prime Minister Paul Martin, and retired General Rick Hillier.
But as Ashley Csanady of The Waterloo Record noted, the most familiar face to Jenkins at the upcoming ceremony at The Governor General’s mansion will be the Governor General himself. Governor General David Johnston, in 1999, became the fifth President of the University of Waterloo, maintaining the role until March, 2011. Csanady points out that Johnston and Jenkins “worked together on several initiatives in the region over the years, notably Jenkins’s support of the university’s burgeoning Stratford campus.”