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Rogers to replace CEO Joe Natale after board fight

Rogers Communications Inc. said Chief Executive Joe Natale had left and was being replaced on an interim basis by former finance chief Tony Staffieri.

The company said it has begun searching for a permanent CEO and that Mr. Staffieri, who was fired in September, is a candidate. News of the management change was earlier reported by the Toronto Star.

Ed Rogers, the telecommunications company’s chairman, pushed out Mr. Natale after winning a court fight for control of Rogers, according to a person familiar with the matter.

The CEO change, coming less than two weeks after Mr. Rogers publicly expressed his support for Mr. Natale, has worsened the divisions in the family that controls Canada’s third-largest telecommunications company, said another person with knowledge of the situation.

Mr. Rogers’s mother, Loretta Rogers, and two of his sisters, Martha Rogers and Melinda Rogers-Hixon, have publicly opposed replacing Mr. Natale. A Canadian judge ruled earlier this month that Mr. Rogers has sufficient authority through a family trust to make management changes without holding a formal shareholder meeting.

After the ruling, five independent directors on Rogers board were replaced by directors backed by Mr. Rogers and he kept his role as the company’s chairman.

Mr. Rogers had planned to replace Mr. Natale with Mr. Staffieri this past summer, but was rebuffed by others on the Rogers board. That led to a boardroom battle that, at one point, created two separate boards claiming legitimacy.

It is unclear whether replacing the CEO will affect Rogers’ pending $16 billion merger with Shaw Communications Inc. Regulators are set to hold a hearing to consider the transaction on Nov. 22.

 

This story has been published from a wire agency feed without modifications to the text

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