Rogers pursues overhaul of management team after fight for control of telecommunications giant


Rogers CEO Tony Staffieri has been reshuffling the company’s top ranks ever since he took office.Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press

Rogers Communications Inc. has made further changes to its management team after a high-stakes battle for control of the wireless giant.

Tony Staffieri, the new chief executive of the Toronto-based telecommunications company, has been reshuffling the top ranks of the company since taking office after the dramatic ousting of his predecessor, Joe Natale .

The most recent changes, reflected on the company’s website, include splitting the role of chief legal and regulatory officer, previously held by Lisa Damiani, into two separate positions.

Ted Woodhead, formerly senior vice president of regulatory affairs, has been promoted to director of regulatory and government affairs, joining the leadership team.

Mr. Woodhead plays a vital role in the company’s efforts to gain approval from three federal agencies – the Competition Bureau, the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission and the Department of Innovation, Science and Economic Development (ISED) – for funding the $26 takeover of Shaw Communications Inc. Rogers said it expects the deal to close in the second quarter of this year.

Marisa Wyse, formerly vice president of corporate development, has also joined the executive leadership team as chief legal officer.

Ms. Damiani remains in an advisory role focused on the Shaw transaction.

Mahes Wickramasinghe, a chartered accountant who has held executive positions in several large Canadian companies, including Canadian Tire Corp. ltd. and the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, was hired as the company’s chief administrative officer. The Rogers website says Mr Wickramasinghe has “managed complex acquisitions across several large organizations”.

On Monday, Rogers announced the appointment of Glenn Brandt, a 30-year veteran of the company, as chief financial officer. Mr. Staffieri held the position for nearly a decade before being fired at the end of September by the company’s board. He was rehired as CEO a month and a half later after Edward Rogers, chairman of the family trust that controls the company, replaced five independent directors.

Other notable changes include the departure of wireless president Dave Fuller, who was replaced by longtime Rogers executive Phil Hartling, as well as the departure of Rogers Sports & Media president Jordan Banks. Mr. Banks was replaced by Colette Watson, formerly president of the Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC). Communications director Sevaun Palvetzian also left the company and was not replaced.

Meanwhile, former corporate director Robert Dépatie stepped down from the board to take on an operational role as president and chief operating officer of the residences and businesses division of telecoms.

The management team has been reduced from 11 to 13 positions, plus the CEO. Six members of Mr. Natale’s management team remained in their roles, including chief information and technology officer Jorge Fernandes.

Last week, in his first public appearance since taking office, Mr Staffieri pledged to improve the company’s lagging performance compared to his peers in recent years and said to himself ” pleased” with the recent leadership changes.

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