Obamacare Just Made Its First Billionaire

Background Money


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.

Godin had spent his life building CGI, but do you think he would ever have become a billionaire if it weren’t for the lucrative government contracts worth hundreds of millions. Since he failed so completely in the website launch, do you think he should give the money back? Maybe a more important question is, “how many more billionaires do you think Obamacare will make?”

One thought on “Obamacare Just Made Its First Billionaire

  1. Off topic:
    Hi Angel,
    On your latest broadcast on LRN, you were complaining about how expensive it was to ship a heavy package. I had a similar experience about 5 years ago when trying to ship a heavy crate internationally. I thought, how hard could it be: call UPS, tell them to pick up here, deliver there and pay them. After hours on the phone, talking to different people at UPS, I finally got a hold of someone with answers, and she told me that basically none of the couriers ship large/heavy items person-to-person ever since 9-11 because of government regulations. So there you have it- the government is the culprit as usual. I ended up using a moving company to ship my crate at great expense.

    Anyway, I just found your show recently. Keep up the good work 🙂


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