Rogers CEO Guy Laurence steps down, names former Telus CEO Joe Natale as replacement
By: Hunter Crowther
Rogers Communications has announced Guy Laurence has resigned as president and chief executive, effectively immediately.
The media conglomerate says Laurence’s replacement will be former Telus president and CEO Joe Natale, who served in those roles between May 2014 and August 2015.
“We have appreciated Guy’s leadership over the last three years,” said Rogers deputy chairman Edward Rogers in a press release on Monday morning. “On behalf of the Rogers family and the Board, I’d like to thank Guy for his competitive spirit and many contributions.”
No official reason has been given for Laurence’s resignation.
Minutes after the company sent out the press release, Rogers released their latest financial report, which showed third-quarter profit margins were nearly 50 per cent lower than they were the same time last year. Rogers says their third-quarter was $220 million, or 43 cents per share, down from $464 million or 90 cents per share in 2015’s third-quarter profit.
Laurence was named president and CEO in December 2013. Laurence immediately developed a relationship with National Hockey League commissioner Gary Bettman and led the process for Rogers obtaining the NHL’s television rights in an unprecedented 12 year, $5.2 billion agreement.
He also sat on the board of directors for Maple Leafs Sports & Entertainment, which owns the NHL’s Toronto Maple Leafs, the NBA’s Toronto Raptors and the MLS’s Toronto FC.
But underwhelming television ratings for hockey and declining profits may have triggered a desire for change from within the organization.
Natale, who helped Telus cut into a monopolized Canadian market controlled by Rogers and Bell, resigned from the Vancouver-based company last summer because of his refusal to move his family to the British Columbian city. He joined Telus in 2003.
“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,” said Rogers chairman Alan Horn.
Natale currently resides in Toronto, where Rogers’ headquarters is located.
Natale will officially join Rogers in spring 2017.
Until then, Horn will serve as CEO on an interim basis.
“During the transition, it’s business as usual,” Horn said.