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CGI appoints financial executive François Boulanger as CEO

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CGI, one of Canada’s largest IT consultancies, has appointed long-time executive François Boulanger as its new CEO.

Boulanger is replacing current CEO George Schindler, who will retire on September 30.

CGI launched in 1976 and has since grown into one of the North America IT services market’s largest players with over 90,000 staffers worldwide. In addition to providing clients with technical consulting services, the firm sells prepackaged software for industries such as the financial sector. The company can trace a big portion of its growth over the last few decades, as well as a large subset of its prepackaged software portfolio, to a series of successful competitor acquisitions. 

At the start of his executive career at CGI, Boulanger played an important role in several of those acquisitions. He helped integrate the accounting systems of several firms that CGI had acquired into its backend IT infrastructure. The executive also played a central role in setting up the firm’s HR software system.

Boulanger, a chartered accountant, joined CGI a few years prior to those projects as director of project accounting. He later worked as the firm’s corporate controller for eight years before becoming chief financial officer in 2014.

Boulanger’s appointment to the CEO post likely came as little surprise to company insiders. His most recent job title before the promotion was chief operating officer, a role in which he was responsible for multiple key aspects of the firm’s business operations. That includes CGI’s activities in the U.S. commercial sector, a key source of revenue for IT consultancies, as well as the firm’s Canadian branch.

Before joining CGI in 1988, Boulanger management roles at several goods and services companies. He earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration from HEC Montréal.