Luis Canepari

Forty Under 40 winner 2014:  Vice-president, information systems, Goldcorp, 38

Two years ago, when Goldcorp Inc. decided it needed to bring up its game on the technology, information systems and financial reporting front, the company hired a headhunter, who managed to find someone who was not only an IT expert, but who also had experience managing large projects.

Before being hired by Goldcorp to give the company’s IT system a major overhaul, Luis Canepari spent two years in Panama, where he was the project director for a $100 million tunnel construction project that brought water from a reservoir to a hydro plant.

While heading up the Esti tunnel project in Panama for AES Corp., he was in charge of a workforce of 650 people. He considers the Panama project one of the highlights of his career.

“We fed a lot of families for two years,” he said. “We built a park for the community and did a lot of community work.”

Born and raised in Venezuela, Canepari earned a bachelor of science degree with a major in systems engineering from the Universidad Metropolitana, then went to work for Exxon Mobil Corp., where he led an IT streamlining project that reduced costs for the company by 15%.

In 2003, he left Venezuela to take an MBA at Georgetown University in the U.S. and then went to work for AES. From there, he went to Panama to work on the Esti tunnel project. Then, in 2012, he was recruited to come to Vancouver to work for Goldcorp.

Mining companies have a reputation for being slow to adopt new technology, and Canepari said it didn’t take much to improve Goldcorp’s IT performance.

“The first four months were fairly easy,” he said. “I’d look at all the low-hanging-fruit contracts, and I renegotiated them and I got a better deal.

“In the first four months, we cut down 9% of expenses while providing more services, and the year after we provided a 7% reduction. And for next year we’re going to do another 7% reduction.”