The board of directors of Rogers Communications Inc. has voted to remove Edward Rogers as chairman and replace him with John MacDonald, the company said Thursday.
Mr. Rogers will remain on the Company’s board of directors as a director.
“It has been a difficult time for the company and I would like to reaffirm on behalf of the majority of the Board of Directors our full support and confidence in the management team and the CEO of Rogers Communications,” Mr. MacDonald, who has served as a director at the company since 2012 and chairs the corporate governance committee, said in a statement.
The board’s vote follows a letter sent by the company’s independent directors to Toronto Mayor John Tory on Wednesday night that the removal of Joe Natale as CEO and the overhaul of the board of administration would pose a risk to the Shaw Communications Inc. takeover of $ 26 billion.
The letter, sent by director Bonnie Brooks and viewed by The Globe and Mail, said Rogers had to raise $ 20 billion over the next few months to fund the acquisition of Calgary-based Shaw and that the change of CEO from the company poses a “huge risk problem” with underwriters, Mr. Natale being their main point of contact.
Changes in the management or the board of directors of the company could also lead the rating agencies to believe that there is a “chaos” within the company and lead to a downgrade which would nullify all synergies of the company. acquisition, indicates the letter. Shaw chief executive Brad Shaw has not requested any further changes to the company’s board or management, the letter also notes.
The independent directors’ warning comes after company chairman Edward Rogers attempted to replace Mr Natale with company chief financial officer Tony Staffieri and remove nine other top executives. Mr Natale learned of the plan when Mr Staffieri accidentally dialed him from a pocket number while discussing the matter with former Rogers chief legal counsel David Miller, according to two sources familiar with the fallout from the situation. The Globe does not identify individuals because they are not allowed to speak publicly about it.
After hearing the conversation, Mr. Natale addressed one of the independent directors and an emergency weekend meeting was called. Mr. Staffieri left the company a few days later.
Mr. Rogers has doubled down on his plan to overhaul the company’s leadership in recent days by recruiting potential new independent directors to replace those currently on the board.
“The independent directors, the governance committee and the human resources committee created and tried to put in place fences to prevent the president from interfering in the management of the company and continually plotting behind the back of the leader in this business for seven years… It turned out to be impossible. control, ”reads the letter.
If the family trust that controls Rogers through its ownership of the Class A voting shares chooses to ignore this issue, the independent directors “could be forced to remove the chairman of the board because of the situation. chaotic that his own unilateral actions have now landed on the company. in, ”he adds.
“This is not the outcome we expected or wanted, and we are deeply concerned that the President has put the company at great risk that could have been easily avoided had he followed the proper governance protocols. We urge you and the trust to consider the preventable negative outcome and help find a solution, ”the letter read.
Mr. Tory sits on the advisory board overseeing the family trust that controls the telecommunications and media giant. He chaired a Tuesday night meeting between members of the advisory committee that oversees the Rogers Family Trust, which controls the business.
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