When did you first hear about the company CGI? For many of us, the first we knew of the company was when the Obamacare website, healthcare.gov had its disastrous launch. CGI is the company that built that website.
CGI was founded by Serge Godin, and Slate.com just discussed his recently acquired fortune:
A classic tortoise, he has constructed an impenetrable shell for CGI that weathers such blows with ease. This year, the 63-year-old Godin celebrated becoming a billionaire.
It took 36 years: Godin co-founded the tiny French-Canadian information-services company CGI Group in 1976, when he was 26; in 2012, CGI’s purchase of British IT giant Logica more than doubled its number of employees (from 30,000 to more than 70,000) and yielded a 53 percent jump in the company’s stock, pushing Godin over the 10-figure line. While the pace sets Godin’s tech career apart from the Icarus-like ascents of Zynga’s Mark Pincus (who made it to the billion-dollar mark in four years) or Napster’s Sean Parker (who made it the day Facebook went public), it doesn’t make Godin’s success any less noteworthy. Now the chair of one of the largest IT services and outsourcing companies in the world—approaching giants like IBM, HP, and Fujitsu—Godin’s “buy and build” strategy speaks to a more reliable, and more patient, business strategy than stumbling on the right tech at the right time.
Slate talks more about the growing of CGI, but I saw this as telling me all I needed to know. CGI was one of only four companies pre-approved to bid on building the website. In fact, the launch was so bad, three guys were inspired to build a better site from home, and launched it already. So why was CGI hired? Well, Michelle Obama did graduate from Princeton in 1985 with
Toni Townes-Whitley, a senior vice president at CGI Federal. But who really knows exactly what goes on behind closed doors when we’re dealing with such blatant corporatism.