Good Evening All:
Very interesting news from Team Red as the Calin Rovinescu has chosen to give back to society as opposed to sailing a yacht by becoming Chancellor of the University of Ottawa.
Enjoy your new career Calin.
From the Ottawa Citizen
Air Canada CEO Rovinescu new chancellor of UOttawa | Ottawa Citizen
Tom Spears, Ottawa Citizen
More from Tom Spears, Ottawa Citizen
Published on: November 9, 2015 | Last Updated: November 9, 2015 1:23 PM EST
Calin Rovinescu, the chief executive of Air Canada, has been chosen as the next chancellor of the University of Ottawa, the institution where he obtained a law degree in 1980.
Rovinescu succeeds former chancellor Michaëlle Jean, who quit earlier this year to become head of the Organisation internationale de la Francophonie.
Rovinescu has been CEO of Air Canada since 2009. He is also chairman of the board of Star Alliance, a group of 27 airlines from many countries, and chairman of the board of the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
He spent more than 20 years practising law at Stikeman Elliott in Montreal in the areas of corporate finance and mergers and acquisitions.
He joined Air Canada in 2000 as executive vice-president, and later became the chief restructuring officer during the airline’s restructuring in 2003-2004. He left the airline to become president of Genuity Capital Markets, an independent investment bank, and rejoined Air Canada as president in 2009.
The airline was in terrible trouble at the time. It had lost $1 billion in 2008 and used up its cash reserves; fuel prices were at a record high; its pension plan was $3.7 billion in the hole; all its union contracts were ending at once; and financial markets didn’t want any part of the company. Rovinescu later told University of Ottawa students (in a convocation address last year) that the crisis was like a Rubik’s cube in that all the sides had to be solved at once.
But the airline pulled through, and Rovinescu was named Canada’s top CEO by the Globe and Mail (in 2013) and the Financial Post (in 2014).
Born in Bucharest, he moved to Canada with his family when he was five years old. In his convocation address last year, he told his family’s story this way:
“My father was a surgeon, a urologist who, with $60, a couple of suitcases of clothes, and at nearly 40 years old, immigrated to Canada from Romania with my mother, a teacher with a couple of university degrees and some knowledge of cultural affairs in China.
“What they had of value, and what carried them though, was not what was contained in those suitcases, it was what was contained in their heads. It was my parents’ knowledge — their professions, their skills, their confidence — that enabled them to rebuild their lives here, providing their children with fantastic opportunities, as I have been privileged to have.”
And he gave the grads some advice on courage:
“Fear paralyzes. Absolute fear paralyzes absolutely. As Aristotle said: ‘Courage is the first of human qualities because it is the quality that guarantees the others.’
“With all the knowledge in the world, we get nowhere without courage. Courage to leave. Courage to stay. Courage to change or be an unreasonable catalyst for change in others. Courage to be honest. Courage to draw a line in the sand — whether in a relationship or in a business. Courage to admit your mistakes, to avoid the temptation to hide and to rectify things, early and quickly!”