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ABB’s 90 Million Dollar Commitment To Montreal

ABB’s 90 Million Dollar Commitment To Montreal

After a project completed in a record time of 18 months, yesterday ABB inaugurated its new Canadian head office in the borough of Saint-Laurent. The 90 million dollar complex will group 700 employees in cutting edge sectors such as artificial intelligence, and Ulrich Spiesshofer, CEO of the Swiss giant ABB Group, confided to La Presse that it would be hiring even more people over the next few years.

“Our value proposition has changed in recent years and, quite honestly, we’re working of some very cool stuff here,” stated the head of the Group on the sidelines of the event. “We’re working on renewable energy, robotics, artificial intelligence, and from the perspective of content, this makes us very attractive to future employees.”

CENTRALIZATION

ABB was until recently scattered in half a dozen Montreal offices and plants in Montreal. The company chose to bring together all of its activities under a same roof in the Technoparc, not far from the Montréal-Trudeau airport, where employees have been moving into the premises in small groups at a time since January.

“Here we have a unique combination: we have the head office, manufacturing and assembly, as well as research, development and innovation all under the same roof. This building brings together all the facets of ABB in a remarkable fashion.”

— Ulrich Spiesshofer

During our visit of the 300,000 square foot complex yesterday, some 100 employees were busy assembling elaborate systems used in high capacity power grids. The other 600 Montreal employees of the Group are primarily engineers and project managers. They work, among other things, on the modernization of the vessels of the Canadian Coast Guard and on automation projects in the mining and metals sector.

ZOOMING IN ON ITS IMAGE

Even though the ABB name and logo are quite well known, a lot of people do not know the company’s real mission. The senior executive of the Group, which hires more than 132,000 people in 100 pays, is well aware that this image is fuzzy.

“One of the key-efforts of our strategy is to significantly strengthen the overall recognition of the ABB brand,” Mr. Spiesshofer stated. “We now have a well-defined strategy, but there’s still room for improvement.”

The corporate leader took advantage of his visit to Montreal to talk with provincial and federal ministers. They especially addressed the worker training needs in cutting edge sectors such as artificial intelligence. The 90 million dollar investment made in Saint-Laurent is 100% privately funded.

Canada’s Finance Minister, Bill Morneau, who attended the event yesterday, pointed out that ABB’s projects are perfectly “in line with the vision of the Canadian government”. This spring, Ottawa announced major investments in innovation and artificial intelligence.