Briefing

HR software firm Ceridian launching new public-sector division with top Ottawa staffer

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Gianluca Cairo, chief of staff to Innovation Minister Navdeep Bains, will start in mid-August at the publicly traded tech company, which is headquartered in Minneapolis but run from Toronto. His appointment was cleared by the federal ethics commissioner. (Globe and Mail)

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Talking point: Ceridian’s primary users are U.S. businesses—the country accounted for 67.8 per cent of the firm’s US$746 million in revenue in 2018. The public sector represents a new market for the firm, and it’s been shortlisted for a major contract in Canada. In June, the federal government announced that the firm was one of three finalists, along with CGI Group and Oracle, to build a replacement for the Phoenix payroll system. Cairo was chief of staff to then-public services minister Judy Foote when the platform was activated in February 2016; 40 per cent of federal employees subsequently faced pay problems as a result of the new system. Cairo has experience at another Canadian-run tech firm with large operations in the U.S. Before moving to Ottawa following the Liberals’ 2015 election victory, he was an executive at Altus Group, a Toronto-based real estate data and software company that did 30 per cent of its business in the U.S. that year.