Shopify boss’s big year gets even better
Lütke to be named CEO of the Year at BOBs gala; Greenberg to receive Lifetime Achievement Award
Shopify’s Tobias Lütke will cap off a banner 2014 when he receives the CEO of the Year award at the Best Ottawa Business Awards.
Mr. Lütke said he is honoured to receive the award, which was announced on Oct. 23, but was quick to share the credit with his co-workers.
“It takes a city to raise a company, and Shopify owes much of its success to being headquartered in Ottawa. A lot of our amazingly talented team are Ottawa natives, and it’s all of them, and our awesome staff in Toronto, Montreal, and around the world, who deserve this award,” he said in a statement.
Mr. Lütke led the e-commerce company through a memorable last 12 months that saw it close a $100-million venture capital deal in December, hit 100,000 online stores in April, and move into its shiny new digs – six floors in all – at Performance Court at 150 Elgin St. in mid-October.
Mr. Lütke said the company has come a long way since its first “office,” a table at a Bridgehead coffee shop on Elgin Street, calling the company’s growth in the past decade mind-blowing.
“We couldn’t be a more proud Ottawaborn company, and I really want to thank everyone in the community who helped us grow along the way,” he said.
The CEO of the Year Award dates back to 2000, when OBJ bestowed the first honour on Rod Bryden of World Heart. Halogen’s Paul Loucks won the award last year, while Roger Greenberg, who will receive the Lifetime Achievement Award at this year’s BOBs, is another past recipient.
As last year’s winner, Mr. Loucks sat on this year’s selection committee, which also included Francois Julien, dean of the Telfer School of Management.
“The Telfer School is very proud to support the CEO of the Year award and to celebrate excellence in business leadership and innovation. This year is no exception,” Mr. Julien said in a statement. “Shopify is a game-changer for the Ottawa landscape and we are delighted to recognize Tobi for the outstanding results Shopify has achieved recently. Our connection to Shopify really matters to us.”
The CEO of the Year is judged on a number of criteria, including corporate performance, leadership and vision, competitiveness and innovation, and community involvement.
Meanwhile, Mr. Greenberg, the executive chairman of the Minto Group, is being honoured for his 30-year career with the Ottawa-based real estate developer.
“It’s an honour to accept this Lifetime Achievement Award with the full appreciation that many people – colleagues, friends and family – have contributed to my success over the years,” Mr. Greenberg said in a statement. “While the award is retrospective in its approach, in as much as I am not yet 60 years old, it also encourages me to continue working on a day-to-day basis to ensure the prosperity of partners I work with, companies that I’m associated with and the betterment of our great city.”
It has been a memorable year for Mr. Greenberg, a partner in the Ottawa Sports and Entertainment Group that was behind the renovation of Lansdowne Park, the reintroduction of CFL football and the launch of a professional soccer franchise.
Born and raised in Ottawa, Mr. Greenberg regularly attended Rough Rider games in his youth before heading off to Toronto, where he earned a Bachelor of Commerce degree at the University of Toronto and a law degree from Osgoode Hall. He has worked for Minto, the family business, since 1985, eventually taking over the leadership from his father Gilbert and uncle Irving.
Mr. Greenberg is involved in a number of charities, especially in health and education.
“It’s hard to completely estimate Roger Greenberg’s economic and social impact on our city,” said publisher Michael Curran. “Whether it’s his decades-long leadership at Minto, his recent involvement in the revitalization of Lansdowne Park or his philanthropic pursuits, he certainly stands among the very elite in terms of business leaders of his generation.”
The BOBs will be held Thursday, Nov. 20 at the newly renamed Shaw Centre (formerly the Ottawa Convention Centre), where a number of companies will be honoured in categories such as outstanding companies and deals of the year.
The event is a joint presentation of and the Ottawa Chamber of Commerce. More information about the event can be found at www.bestottawabusiness.ca.