Derek Hudson has been named the new CEO of the Edmonton Economic Development Corporation, the board announced on Wednesday.
With over 30 years of experience in strategy, management, finance, consulting and performance improvement, board member Angela Fong said Hudson proved himself while serving as interim CEO earlier this year.
“True to his entrepreneurial roots, Derek is an engaging leader who is also willing to roll up his sleeves to get the job done.”
Hudson joined the EEDC in April 2013 and had previously served as chief operating officer and corporate secretary, before taking the interim CEO position on April 1 of this year.
“I am humbled by the board’s decision to allow me the opportunity to lead this organization and to steward its continued relevance as a key driver of prosperity for the Edmonton region,” Hudson said.
“I look forward to working with my colleagues and many stakeholders to ensure a prosperous and resilient economy which benefits all.”
One of the areas Hudson is eager to grow is Edmonton’s tech sector as part of the innovative work the EEDC is doing with its partners at TEC Edmonton.
“Now we’re looking to expand the Startup Edmonton space and increase both with new companies starting up and then with the services we provide to companies once they get established and go from that one- or two-man shop to 10 to 50 to 100.”
Eventually, he said, that will lead to more storefront locations for technology in downtown Edmonton.
“We’re also looking at attracting larger companies to put research facilities, research offices here in downtown along the lines of what Google did with Deep Mind because of the University of Alberta’s expertise in artificial intelligence and machine learning.”
Hudson is a graduate of the University of Alberta and co-founded Micralyne, a microtechnology spinoff from the U of A.
He is a chartered accountant, chartered professional accountant and certified management consultant.
The search for a new CEO was triggered in November 2017 when Brad Ferguson decided to step down after more than five years in the position.
Hudson said the EEDC will continue to promote and retain business in Edmonton and to fulfill its role in running Edmonton Tourism and operating the Shaw Conference Centre under the ownership of the City of Edmonton.
The EEDC’s role is to promote and build the city’s reputation, drive the growth of the city and attract visitors and investment to Edmonton.
– With files from Scott Johnston, 630 CHED