Seven company- and shareholder-elected members make up the Calian Group Ltd. Board of Directors. The board contributes to the strategy and governance of Calian. This “Meet the Board Blog Series” profiles each board member. Welcome to the inaugural article.
Name: George Weber
Titles: President & CEO, WebX Consultant Group; Chair of the Board of Directors, Calian Group Ltd.
Year Joined the Board: December 2012
Year Promoted to Chair of the Board: September 2020
Q: Tell us a bit about your career history, George.
GW: What may be of interest to your readers and our shareholders is that I have been a CEO for most of my working life.
My first CEO position was in the 80s as secretary general and CEO of the Canadian Red Cross Society, at age 37, the youngest person to ever hold the post.
I then became the first Canadian to hold the position of secretary general/CEO of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent (International Federation) based in Geneva, Switzerland. This assignment took me abroad for many years.
Upon my return to Canada, I became the CEO of the Canadian Dental Association. During this time, I was responsible for setting up a for-profit subsidiary. This was followed by more than a decade as president/CEO at the Royal Ottawa Healthcare Group.
I currently run my own executive consulting company.
Over the years, I have sat on and/or chaired numerous boards of directors at the local, national and international levels. In addition to Calian, I currently sit on two privately held company boards that are health-related—one of which I chair. I also sit on two not-for-profits, one of which is based in Geneva.
As over one-quarter of my working life was spent overseas. I have maintained a geo-political perspective, having had to navigate years of discussions and negotiations with the most senior leaders and officials in numerous countries and multinational organizations. I have led, managed and transformed large and complex organizations, and have dealt with a global workforce of over 90 different nationalities.
Q: What is the single highlight of your career thus far?
GW: There are just too many rewarding initiatives and experiences over a 35-year span to narrow to one. Since this blog series profiles the Calian Board of Directors, I can tell you that chairing boards is extremely rewarding, especially facilitating to get the best, diverse views from each board member, thus leading to better decisions or solutions.
Q: What led you to take on the role of chair of the Calian board?
GW: I was asked to chair by my fellow board members and our CEO with the resignation of my predecessor. At that time, I had already served on the board for eight years and had been on all of its sub-committees. I had also chaired both the board’s governance and compensation committees.
Q: Consider your tenure as chair of the board. What are your high-5s?
GW: The caveat to the five highlights that I share with you is that one doesn’t do anything alone. I encourage people to think about what we need to achieve to reach our goals. So, we should recognize the entire board, management, and the staff team for the following.
#1 high: Growth. I was asked to chair the board of a company that was already successful. During my tenure to date, Calian continues to maintain and accelerate its profitable growth momentum through a diverse offering. This has been particularly challenging during these past two years of dealing with COVID and other headwinds, such as supply chain shortages.
#2 high: Acquisitions. During my time as chair, Calian acquired its largest acquisition to date, i.e., Dapasoft /iSecurity (in 2021).
#3 high: Geographical Expansion. In early 2022, Calian acquired US-based Computex. Expanding into new geographies continues to be a key acquisition strategy, in addition to organic growth, to enable Calian to boost its profitable growth momentum.
#4 high: Diversity. The Board implemented governance policies specific to diversity a few years ago and does what it promises—of the six independent directors, the split is 50/50 men/women.
#5 high: Environment Social and Governance (ESG). Investors, stay tuned for more information coming about our ESG strategy!
Q: If you were chatting with a new investor, what is the #1 thing you would tell them about Calian?
GW: We are a steady, profitable growth company that has managed this successful trajectory for over 22 years, even during turbulent markets. This has been achieved by being focused, employing capital judiciously and maintaining a diverse offering.
September 27, 2022
Cybersecurity in the Contemporary Environment—Mixing Old and New
No defence lasts forever and statistically cyber attacks are eventually successful somewhere. Investing in response is the ‘missing half’ of the cyber defence discussion.
September 26, 2022
Wargaming—Testing Assumptions and Assessing Plans
Wargaming is used by military leaders and planners to test and evaluate concepts and technologies in a controlled environment.
September 23, 2022
Disinformation in Digital Spaces: a Key Weapon in War and Competition Below the Threshold of Armed Conflict
Disinformation is increasingly a tool being used by states and the proxy groups they support to shift perceptions, draw attention to hot-button issues, and exacerbate division on political issues.