CGI Promotes Schindler to Top Post With Roach Set to Retire

CGI Group Inc. promoted George Schindler to chief executive officer to replace Michael Roach, who will retire next month after a decade at the helm of Canada’s biggest information-technology company by market value.

Schindler, 53, will take over Oct. 1 with Roach remaining a director, Montreal-based CGI said Thursday in a statement. Schindler was appointed chief operating officer of CGI in May 2015, having previously run the company’s U.S. business from 2011. He joined CGI as a result of the 2004 acquisition of American Management Systems Inc.

“With 30 years of experience in consulting services, George has successfully managed large operations in IT and management consulting,” CGI Chairman and co-founder Serge Godin said in a statement. “George was identified by the board more than five years ago as a strong candidate for the CEO role. Since then, he has progressively assumed more responsibility, from our U.S. business to North American operations and, for the last year and a half, all global operations have reported to him.”

Roach, now 64, oversaw the largest acquisition in CGI’s history -- the 2012 purchase of Logica Plc for $2.6 billion in cash, which allowed the company to speed up its expansion into Europe. Since then, CGI has been integrating Logica and working on smaller tuck-in acquisitions.

CGI fell 3.6 percent to C$62.03 at 3:24 p.m. Thursday in Toronto, its biggest intraday loss since June 27. That trimmed the stock’s gain since the start of the year to 12 percent.

“Mr. Roach has been a cornerstone of CGI’s build-and-buy model over many years, and CGI’s stock and profitability have benefited greatly under his leadership,” Maher Yaghi, a Desjardins Capital Markets analyst in Montreal, said in a note to clients. “However, we do not expect this growth model to change under Mr. Schindler’s leadership and we had expected him to take over the CEO position eventually, even if this announcement has come a little sooner than our previous expectation.”

CGI revenue more than doubled to more than C$10 billion ($7.8 billion) during Roach’s stint as CEO. Its widely traded Class A shares soared about seven-fold during the period to a market value of C$19.1 billion. That exceeds the 68 percent return of the benchmark S&P/TSX Composite Index including dividends, data compiled by Bloomberg show.

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