Canada's Rogers Communications arrives at interim CEO appointment

Nov. 22, 2021
Current CFO Tony Staffieri jumps up to interim CEO, in a run-up to Rogers' integration with Shaw Communications once the companies' merger deal closes next year.

Rogers Communications (NYSE: RCI) announced that effective Nov. 16, Joe Natale has left his role as president and CEO of the company. Concurrently, Rogers' CFO Tony Staffieri has been appointed to the role of interim president and CEO.

“On behalf of the Rogers family, the board and our 24,000 team members across the country, I thank Joe for his leadership and contributions to our company, including paving the way for our future together with Shaw,” commented Edward Rogers, chair, Rogers Communications.

The Supreme Court of British Columbia on November 5 paved the way for Rogers Communications then-deposed chairman Edward Rodgers, bounced as a result of a dispute with his mother and two sisters over control of the company’s board, to regain his position. Tensions among the family members – all related to late founder Ted Rogers by birth or marriage – became public when Edward Rogers at that time decided to fire CEO Joe Natale.

That decision led to his ouster from the board. In a twist, Edward Rogers announced immediately after the Nov. 5 court ruling that Natale would remain in place, stating "Mr. Natale remains CEO and a director of Rogers Communications and has the board's support."

Upon his current resignation, Joe Natale commented, "I am grateful for the opportunity to lead Rogers Communications through a critical time in its history and remain excited about the transformational potential of the Shaw transaction. It has been a privilege to build a team of such extraordinary character and ability and I wish each of our 24,000 team members continued success and good fortune in the future."

Rogers chair Edward Rogers noted, “While Joe is moving on, [with Tony Staffieri] we have an experienced interim CEO and leadership team who will continue to focus on the business, return to stability, and closing our transformational merger with Shaw.”

According to a press release, Staffieri has over thirty years of telecom, financial, media and sports experience, including over nine years as the chief financial officer of Rogers. Prior to joining Rogers, he held senior positions at Bell Canada Enterprises, Celestica International and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

The Rogers board said it has begun a search to identify a permanent CEO who will continue to drive the company's future growth, including its integration with the Shaw Communications team once the companies' merger deal closes next year. Rogers noted that Tony Staffieri will be a candidate for this role.

“Tony is amongst the most highly regarded and seasoned telecommunications executives in the industry and was a key part of the Shaw deal,” continued Edward Rogers. “His incredible work ethic, track record for results, focus on long-term strategic growth, driving an excellent experience for our customers and employees, and strong operational execution will serve us well. The company has an exceptional set of assets and the board has full confidence in his ability to lead Rogers during this period.”

The operator's statement added that its Shaw transaction continues to move forward as planned. On Monday, November 22, 2021 the Rogers and Shaw teams, including Edward Rogers, will attend the CRTC public hearing on the merger.

Tony Staffieri concluded, “It is a real privilege and honour to be assuming the role of interim President and CEO for Rogers and I am excited to be working in this new role with the Rogers family, the board, the leadership team and our colleagues from coast-to-coast-to-coast. Rogers has been successfully built over the past 60 years as a result of the hard work of tens of thousands of employees, and I am looking forward to building on the legacy Ted Rogers established for this company and for Canada.”

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