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Don Smith, former CEO, Mitel Networks – March 8, 2011

Don Smith

A leadership discussion with Don Smith

The final installment of the 2010-11 Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series took place on March 8, 2011 and welcomed as guest speaker Don Smith, former CEO of Mitel. 

Mr. Smith took part in a leadership discussion that was led by Dean François Julien and Margo Hoyt, Principal for Knightsbridge in Ottawa. Last October, Mr. Smith was named the 2010 CEO of the year by the Ottawa Business Journal.

For more information on the Alumni Breakfast Speaker Series, including a list of past speakers click here.

About Don Smith

A “reformed engineer” who spent the first 8 years of his career at BT Research Labs, which led to a move to Canada in the late 70’s to begin the marketing and general management phase of his career with Mitel. At Mitel he was an Executive Vice President from 1981, with global responsibility for Sales and Marketing when he left in 1986.

He then became President of AIT Corporation a company that was focused on the market niche of automated border control which he led to a 90% share of the world market, and took public in 1993.

In 1996 he founded Cambrian Systems Corporation, where he was President and CEO, to focus on Metro Optical Systems. He became VP & GM of OPTera Solutions when the company was acquired by Nortel Networks in December 1998. Committed to taking Nortel’s product leadership to a global market share leadership in Metro systems, Don was promoted to President - Optical Internet in January 2000.

In April 2001, Don returned to Mitel Networks as CEO. Don lead the transition of Mitel from a traditional communications company to an industry leader that leverages the convergence of voice, video and data to address the emerging market for unified communications, collaboration and mobility in a virtualized environment. While Don retired in January 2011 after a decade at the helm, he remains a member of the Mitel Board.

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