Rogers CEO steps down with new chief in waiting

The president and CEO of Canadian telecoms and media giant Rogers Communications has stepped down, with a new chief set to join.

Guy LaurenceGuy Laurence (pictured) has stepped down after three years, with former Telus Corp. boss Joseph Natale taking over “as soon as he is in the position to join Rogers”.

Natale was most recently president and CEO of rival telecoms firm Telus, having joined the company in 2003. He left last year.

“During the transition, it’s business as usual,” said Alan Horn, Rogers chairman who will become chief exec in the interim. “We have a strong management team that will continue to execute the plan and build on the momentum we have established as we head into the fourth quarter.”

Rogers’ assets include a cable operation with well over two million customers, a number of Canadian networks such as City, OLN and FX.

The exit is being characterised in the Canadian press as unexpected, with Laurence making a number of moves to change the firm’s structure in recent times. Earlier this year, the company announced plans to axe more than 200 jobs in order to reduce costs.

“We have appreciated Guy’s leadership over the last three years,” said Edward Rogers, deputy chairman, Rogers. “He has moved the company forward re-establishing growth, introducing innovative programmes like Roam Like Home, while getting the company ready for its next phase of growth.

“Following the transition, the board will look to Joe to take the company forward and continue the momentum we’ve established in the past couple of years,” Horn added.

“Joe is a proven executive who has deep experience delivering strong financial results in a highly competitive and complex industry. His focus on the customer experience and demonstrated expertise delivering operational success makes him well suited to lead Rogers through the challenges and opportunities ahead.”