Innovation and sustained growth in the field of live video production have earned a Waterloo Engineering alumnus recognition as CEO of the Year in Ottawa for 2016.
An avid triathlete in his spare time, Ross went to work full-time for the family business – founded by his father, John, in the basement of his Montreal home in the early 1970s – after graduating from the computer engineering program at Waterloo in 1991.
He rose through the ranks, became CEO in 2006 and oversaw an ambitious period of expansion starting two years later. Ross Video now employs over 640 people and has annual revenues approaching $200 million.
The company designs, manufactures and delivers equipment and services for live video productions seen by billions of people around the world.
It plays a role in some of the most-watched broadcasts, including the Super Bowl, and won a technical Emmy Award earlier this year for excellence in the television industry.
In addition to an Ottawa-area research and development operation and a manufacturing facility about an hour south of there, Ross Video has offices in Virginia, California, Singapore and London, England. Its products are in almost 150 countries.
Customers include television broadcasters – the Grammys and Oscars are major clients – event stadiums, concert productions and legislatures. Company equipment has also been used on the International Space Station.
Rapid growth featured a dozen acquisitions
Ross first tried his hand at computer programming when he was just nine. He went on to win three national engineering competitions in high school for projects involving programming and computer graphics.
The expansion under his leadership at Ross Video included the acquisition of 12 smaller companies in seven years. Annual growth over a 25-year period has averaged 18 per cent.
Ross was also an Ontario finalist in the media and entertainment category at the prestigious Ernst & Young awards for entrepreneurs staged last week in Toronto.