Wi-LAN’s Jim Skippen won last year’s Cantech Letter TSX Tech Executive of the Year. With a new category for the TSXV this year, who will take home the prize?Earlier today, we presented you with our judge’s choices for the Cantech Letter TSX Venture Exchange Tech Stock of the Year. You have read the reasoning behind the picks from some of the analysts who have acted as judges, including Ralph Garcea, Ron Shuttleworth, Steve Li, Tom Liston and Douglas Loe.
But this list represents just a small portion of the analysts who have participated this year, in fact more than a dozen of our best tech minds were involved in choosing the names you see here. Cantech Letter, the award winners, and many of the analysts who will vote on the awards will open the trading day on Friday, January 11, 2013, with an official Market Open Ceremony. We will be joined by our sponsors, the TSX and TSX Venture Exchange and law firm Heenan Blaikie.
Here are our judge’s nominations for the TSX Venture Exchange Tech Executive of the Year. You can (and we hope you do) vote for your choice at the bottom of the page. The candidates are listed in alphabetical order, by last name.
David Baazov, Amaya Gaming (TSXV:AYA)
David Baazov has racked up the frequent flyer miles. The Amaya Gaming CEO has made some long hauls putting Amaya on the map, but it appears his efforts are paying off. Baazov’s treks have found him in Kenya, where the company secured a secured a license from the Betting Control and Licensing Board, to the UK, where the company added to its acquisition spree with the pickup of the Ongame poker network. Then, Baazov made a real splash with the $177-million pickup of Cadillac Jack, which has machine placements in more than 200 venues in the United States and Mexico. Analyst Ralph Garcea says the Amaya Gaming CEO has become “one of the leading visionaries in the online gaming market.”
Ruben Klein, Lorex Technology (TSXV:LOX)
Another one bites the dust. While Ruben Klein did what he is supposed to do as boss and maximize shareholder value, one cannot help but wonder what he might have accomplished if Lorex were not sold to FLIR Systems, as it was late in October. Lorex, which was founded in 1996, appeared to be just hitting its stride; for the first nine months of fiscal 2012, its revenue grew by $14.6 million or 33% over the prior year to $58.7 million. The Company’s EBITDA grew by $2.7 million or 68% over the prior year to $6.6 million. Pender Capital Mangement’s Dave Barr one was investor who had no qualms about the buyout, which was done at a healthy premium to market.
James Swayze, Symbility (TSXV:SY)
Agression. M Partners analyst Ron Shuttleworth says many Canadian tech-juniors operate in state of near paralysis, afraid to utilize their public currency to consolidate their market positions and acquire scale quickly. Shuttleworth says Symbility CEO James Swayze does not suffer from the same affliction. He says the SaaS vendor, which was formerly known as Automated Benefits, has taken the kind of bold steps necessary to succeed. While many companies blame their malaise on a post-recession hangover, Swayze has been too busy building his company to notice, he says.