For the past 19 years, Mark Leonard has been building Constellation Software (CSU.TO) into one of the most successful software companies in Canada, and yet you probably don’t know much about him. He’s managed to avoid the spotlight completely, to the point where it is even difficult to find a picture of him online. In today’s age of social media and rampant press, it’s actually a pretty incredible feat that he’s accomplished.
Joe Chidley recently wrote an article for The Globe and Mail titled “Constellation Software’s Elusive CEO,” which probably contains the most information about Mark Leonard ever published and made available to the public.
“He is probably the most intensely private individual in IT,” says one long-time associate.
Why the preferred anonymity though? The Globe and Mail unsuccessfully tried to get an interview, and within 30 minutes Mark Leonard replied by email.
“Kind of you to offer,” he replied, “but I discovered when I was in the venture business that interviews aren’t for me. What little I have to say, I generally put in my letters to shareholders. I do occasionally speak with students, but usually in the vain hope that I can distract them from pursuing careers in investment banking and private equity.”
Whether it’s in the public eye or not, there’s no disputing Mark Leonard’s success with Constellation Software. Constellation’s stock has grown at a faster rate than Google or Apple and is continuously growing. Owning companies in 60 different markets and raking in over $1.2 billion (U.S.) in sales in 2013, Constellation Software is definitely a Canadian heavyweight and a company to look out for.