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Founder of GOL Murdered in L.A.


Unswerving cyclist
14 Mar 2002
Press release by CTR Ventures on Roger Boisvert's death :


One of Tokyo's most visible and respected entrepreneurs has died. Roger J. Boisvert, a 20-year resident of Japan and a fixture in the nation's computer and Internet communities, was killed on Sunday, September 30 in Los Angeles. He was 50 years old.

According to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, a man approached the car Roger was riding in while it was stopped during the early morning hours of Sunday. The man then demanded money, which Roger handed over. The man then demanded the cell phone from the driver, which was also handed over. At that time, or immediately thereafter, Roger was shot in the chest. It is believed he was killed instantly. Police are still looking for his assailant.

A native of St. Catharine's Ontario, Canada, Boisvert graduated from Humber College in 1974 with a degree in Business Administration. He then went on to work for General Electric and Honda Motor in Canada before coming to Japan in 1981. Roger joined the Tokyo office of McKinsey & Company in 1984. He was originally employed by the prestigious consulting firm to teach employees how to use personal computers, but through his trademark drive and determination he eventually became a consultant. During his eight and a half years with McKinsey, Boisvert became one of the most knowledgeable and sought after computer industry experts in Japan. He was a regular at meeting of the Tokyo PC Users Group and the International Computer Association, serving as president of both groups.

When the Internet began to capture the imagination of the world, Boisvert left McKinsey in 1993 and was hired to head up IIKK, the first government authorized commercial Internet provider in Japan. IIKK was then sold to PSI, to become PSI-Net Japan. He left and set up his own Internet provider: Tokyo-based Global OnLine.

Commonly known as GOL, the company grew quickly into one of Japan's leading Internet providers, setting standards in customer service and quality. GOL was also one of the first Japanese companies to offer e-commerce solutions for companies and a wide variety of corporate Internet services.

After selling GOL in 1999, Boisvert set up CTR Ventures, a
Tokyo-based venture capital company. There he continued to be a major player in technology-related industries and served as an advisor and consultant to numerous start-ups. He was on business trip to meet with other venture capitalist and entrepreneurs when he was killed.

Outside of his business career, Boisvert was a world-class mountaineer. He would often spend his weekends rock climbing and, in winter, ice climbing somewhere in or around the Japan Alps. He was also known to bring his climbing gear along with him on business trips in case there were any climbing areas nearby.

Boisvert is survived by his wife Yuriko and two sons. Christopher, 21 and Steven, 18. Funeral arrangements are in the process of being made and will be announced at a later date. Friends and associates are requested not to send flowers, but to later contribute to a foundation to be established in Boisvert's name. Cards and notes of sympathy can be sent care of CTR Ventures, IK Building Kita Aoyama 4F, 3-5-5 Kita-Aoyama, Minato-ku, Tokyo 107-0061.
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