Former SaskTel CEO Robert Watson has been appointed as the new president and CEO of the Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC), effective April 18, the organization announced today.
He’ll be replacing longtime president and CEO Karna Gupta, who began his tenure with ITAC in 2011 and recently decided to leave the organization so he could spend more time with his family.
“It has been great working with ITAC and having the opportunity to work with the people that I have met over the past five years within the ICT community,” Gupta told ITWorldCanada.com sister publication ITBusiness.ca. “I won’t be far away, just not working full-time and enjoying life.”
While he won’t be joining ITAC’s board of governors, Gupta said he will continue to serve on other boards in the tech industry, such as regional incubation centre VentureLab, and as a consultant.
In a statement, ITAC’s board thanked Gupta for his service to the organization.
As for his replacement, Watson brings 35 years of experience with Canada’s tech industry to the role. In addition to SaskTel, where he served as president and CEO from 2004 until 2010, Watson served as president and CEO of SaskPower from 2010 until 2014, and more recently as corporate director of communications service provider Tbaytel, a position he’d held since 2014.
He’s no stranger to ITAC either, having served as both a board member and past chair of the organization.
In a statement, ITAC board of governors chair David MacDonald said that he looked forward to Watson bringing his “strong voice and breadth of experience, especially at the federal level” to his new duties, which begin at a time when Canada’s government is stepping up its efforts to engage with the tech industry.