B.C.’s New CEOs

Ron Wilson | BCBusiness
Best Buy Canada CEO Ron Wilson.

A handful of Top 100 companies saw turnover at the top in the past year. Here’s a sampling of some new names

Doug Harrison
VersaCold International Corp.

As the temperature was heating up outside last summer, Doug Harrison was starting his job as CEO of VersaCold, Canada’s largest warehousing and logistics services company focused on temperature-sensitive products. He started in June 2013, replacing former CEO Joel Smith, who retired a few months later. His job is to lead the company through its next phase of growth. “I joined the company because I’m excited to be able to grow its offering, its capability and work with a blue chip list of clients and great group of employees,” Harrison told BCBusiness.

Scott Thomson
Finning International Inc.

Finning didn’t have to go too far afield to find Scott Thomson, its new CEO. Thomson was familiar with the heavy- equipment industry as CFO at Calgary-based Talisman Energy Inc. Thomson replaced Mike Waites, who retired after five years in the role. Thomson said at the time of his appointment in May last year that he was “especially excited by Finning’s business opportunities.” Finning is the world’s largest Caterpillar equipment dealer with operations in Western Canada, South America, the U.K. and Ireland.

Ron Wilson
Best Buy Canada Ltd.

Few at Best Buy Canada were surprised by the announcement that long-time employee Ron Wilson was named president and COO for Canada. Wilson has been part of the consumer electronics chain for more than two decades. He was promoted to the new role in March 2013 after holding the position of senior vice-president of merchandising and e-commerce since 2008. Wilson said he was excited to lead the company, while also acknowledging its financial troubles in the highly competitive retail market. “I am committed to ensuring that we are well positioned in the market far into the future,” he said.

Jan Grude
Pacific Blue Cross

When it came time to replace retiring CEO Kenneth Martin, Pacific Blue Cross brought in a leader with extensive experience in the health-care industry. Jan Grude, the former CEO of Healthcare Benefit Trust, became the president and CEO of Pacific Blue Cross in the fall of 2013. Grude has also served as president and executive managing director of global benefits advisory firm Buck Consultants LLC. When his new role was announced in June 2013, Grude said his goal was to lead a team that would “achieve the highest levels of performance possible.”

Bhawnesh Mathur
Creation Technologies Inc.

Bhawnesh Mathur brings more than 30 years of experience in the electronics industry to his new role as president and CEO of Creation Technologies, which provides electronics design and manufacturing. He has experience at companies as diverse as IBM, Sanmina-SCI and Arrow Electronics. “The EMS [electronics manufacturing services] industry is at a crossroads,” Mathur said when his appointment was announced in March 2014, adding that he believes Creation Technologies has the innovation and leadership to help make advancements in the sector.