Silicon Valley investor named next CEO of Communitech

The new head of Waterloo region’s tech marketing giant Communitech wants to see the regions’ tech hub grow.

On Monday, Chris Albinson was named the new CEO of Communitech, a seat that’s been filled by Iain Klugman for nearly 17 years.

“There’s been a lot written and reported on how Silicon Valley is changing,” Albinson told CBC Kitchener-Waterloo. “I really believe Canada is the most interesting place to go be if you’re interested in technology and innovation on the planet right now and Communitech in Kitchener-Waterloo is 100 per cent the cornerstone of innovation in Canada.”

Albinson, originally from Kingston, is an entrepreneur and venture capitalist. He’s worked in Silicon Valley for almost 20 years, where he invested in 37 Canadian companies and also helped global brands grow. Albinson is best known for his role as co-founder of C100, an organization that supports technology entrepreneurship and investment, Communitech said in a news release.

The company’s current CEO Klugman had planned to step down earlier in 2020 but extended his tenure when the pandemic hit.

“I’m incredibly proud to have led this great organization for the past 17 years,” Klugman said in a news release Monday.

“In passing the torch to this great Canadian innovator, I have total confidence in Communitech’s future. Waterloo Region and Canada can count on Chris to boldly take Communitech from strength to even greater strength,” he added.

Next steps

Albinson said he’s committed to a post-pandemic economic resurgence and that his first course of action is to listen to local founders about what they need.

“Whether you’re a restaurant on Main Street in Kitchener or you’re the Royal Bank of Canada. We’re all trying to figure out how to leverage technology to make our lives better and I think Canada’s extremely well positioned to lead the globe in innovation. So, it’s a lot of fun to be involved with our startups with our Main Street community and with the larger companies trying to figure out innovation as well,” he said.

There were about 200 candidates vying for the position that was filled after nearly a 10-month long search.

Albinson will take over as CEO on May 17, 2021. He will start his role virtually and plans to relocate to the region this fall.

Last year, Communitech spent $100,000 on nine full-size billboards in California to entice tech workers to move to the region.