Founded in 1976, CGI is a leading IT and business process services provider. Our40-plus years of continuous profitable growth is a testament to the confidence ourclients place in us, to the commitment of our members, and to the sound businessmodel and sustaining principles on which we were founded.
Serge Godin founded CGI in Québec City, Canada, in June 1976. A few months later, André Imbeau joined him andtogether they committed themselves to build a company based upon a shared dream: "To create an environment inwhich we enjoy working together and, as owners, contribute to building a company we can be proud of."The name “CGI” is the French acronym for “Conseillers en gestion et informatique,” which means information systemsand management consultants. In English, the acronym stands for “Consultants to Government and Industry.”In CGI’s first 10 years, the growing team of highly qualified professionals joining CGI helped craft the company’sprinciples and beliefs. These have since been documented within the CGI Constitution, which encompasses ourdream, mission, vision and values.
CGI’s business strategy was, and remains today, tightly linked to the following: helping our clients achieve success,sustaining long-term growth, and providing fulfilling career opportunities for our professionals. This strategy requirescreating a financially sound environment in which all key stakeholders—clients, members and shareholders—prosper.From the outset, a performance-based management and monitoring system for all functions was put in place toensure that opportunities could be identified and addressed quickly. Strong and accountable leaders with the rightlevel of empowerment allowed the company to expand rapidly.
During this period, the IT services market was in its infancy. Demand for IT services evolved to include new types ofrequirements, including fixed-price and systems integration contracts. CGI evolved from a consulting company to aconsulting and systems integration company.
Near the end of this decade, our targeted clientele began to consider and, in many cases, chose to outsource their ITfunctions. CGI responded by preparing a strategy to enter the emerging outsourcing market.
In 1986, CGI began to acquire outsourcing companies. At that time, CGI’s annual revenue was $25 million, and thefirst acquired company (BST) had an annual revenue of $8 million. To finance the transaction, CGI became a publiccompany, issuing 800,000 Class A subordinate voting shares at an opening price of $6.50.With this acquisition, CGI was in a position to offer the full continuum of IT services—technology and managementconsulting, systems integration and IT outsourcing.
A few years later, client consultations with CEOs, CFOs and operation leaders identified two key trends: businessprocesses services (BPS) and globalization. CGI responded by expanding into geographies where clients’ operationswere located and by developing strategies to grow and acquire BPS operations.