Ashe, Robert

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There are few leaders in the corporate world who have come through the ranks of a company to reach the top and prove themselves as a visionary and effective leader. Even fewer leaders sell their company and remain a driving force within a radically different infrastructure.

But University of Ottawa alumnus Rob Ashe is one such remarkable leader.

Born in Halifax and raised in Ottawa, Rob attended Hillcrest High School and completed a commerce degree in accounting at our University in 1982. He joined Cognos in 1984.

…A company he continues to help lead and transform notwithstanding a change in ownership.

Chez Cognos, Rob Ashe a occupé de nombreux postes haut placés, dont directeur de l’exploitation, chef de la direction d’entreprise, directeur financier, vice-président directeur à la recherche et au développement et vice-président directeur au service à la clientèle mondiale. En 2002, Rob a été nommé président de Cognos Incorporated; en 2004, il est devenu président-directeur général.

Responsable de l’orientation stratégique, de la direction et des activités quotidiennes de Cognos, Rob Ashe fut aussi le principal architecte et apôtre de la vision de la compagnie en matière de gestion de la performance.

In June of 2005 Treasury & Risk Management Magazine named Rob Ashe among the “100 most influential People in Finance.”

His senior leadership contributed to the growth of Cognos revenue by more than 355 per cent. He was instrumental in transforming Cognos from a specialized tools provider into a world-leading business intelligence and performance management company. His company has helped countless organizations make better business decisions and drive higher performance.

En janvier 2008, IBM achète Cognos. Selon Rob Ashe, la compagnie aurait pu survivre à la récession, mais la transaction l’a aidée à rester en bon état.

Toutefois, l’histoire de Rob Ashe ne s’arrête pas là. Il transporte son leadership chez IBM, où il guide le secteur de la veille stratégique et de la gestion de la performance pour aider les entreprises à améliorer et à gérer leur rendement.

Sans la fusion, la technologie Cognos n’aurait jamais pu élargir autant sa part de marché. La transaction a eu des répercussions bénéfiques sur la ligne de produits d’Ottawa en plus d’assurer la pérennité de la marque. Poussée par la machine publicitaire d’IBM dans des marchés auparavant inaccessibles à Cognos, la part des produits logiciels de pointe a augmenté de plus de 20 % dans les marchés émergents.
Rob’s amazing story with Cognos is a big part, but not the only part of his life.

He was a board member of Third Brigade Incorporated, an Ottawa-based company that specialized in server and application protection for dynamic datacentres. Third Brigade was acquired by Trend Micro Incorporated in April 2009.

Rob Ashe has been very involved with the Telfer School of Management over the years. He sits on the Dean’s Advisory Board and has been a guest speaker at several functions. In 2000, Rob received the Trudeau Medal, the highest honour given by the Telfer School of Management to its alumni.

He is also a big fan of basketball and strong supporter of our University’s basketball program.

Earlier this year the Telfer School announced an important partnership with IBM spearheaded by Rob Ashe that saw the creation within the School of the IBM Centre for Performance Management, an international centre of business intelligence and analytics.

Rob Ashe a aussi démontré son engagement envers l’éducation en appuyant un laboratoire spécialisé en communication homme-machine à l’Université Carleton. Il fait également partie des signataires d’une lettre ouverte au premier ministre Dalton McGuinty sur l’avenir du financement pour les universités ontariennes.
Rob Ashe sait à quel point l’éducation est essentielle à notre prospérité, et continue de mener par l’exemple.

Chancellor, it is for these reasons that, in the name of the Senate of the University of Ottawa, I present to you for the degree of Doctor of the University, Robert Ashe —a business visionary, an accomplished corporate leader, a community-minded influencer and a champion for the importance and advancement of higher education. 

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