Canadian Telecom Giant Rogers Mired In Bizarre Executive Power Feud That Began With A Butt Dial

from the do-not-pass-go,-do-not-collect-$200 dept

You might remember Canadian telecom giant Rogers. The company routinely found itself in the headlines for all the wrong reasons during the net neutrality wars, after it repeatedly tried to abuse its gatekeeper power to disadvantage other companies. Rogers is like most heavily consolidated regional telecom monopolies: a lack of competition or competent regulatory oversight both created and protects the company thanks to relentless lobbying. As a result, the company never is really challenged, and is consistently allowed to mindlessly merge and grow larger and larger and larger as harms are dismissed.

But there’s been trouble in paradise recently as the company attempts to shuffle around its executive leadership teams. It began with Rogers CEO Joe Natale learning he was going to be fired thanks to an internal coup attempt only revealed thanks to a… butt dial from his CFO. It only got thornier from there.

Ted Rogers died in 2008, and different family factions have been battling for control ever since. Ted’s son Roger was behind the covert effort to replace Natale with Rogers’ CFO Tony Staffieri. Loretta Rogers and her daughters Martha Rogers and Melinda Rogers-Hixon publicly backed Natale after the takeover attempt was revealed. The whole thing has since devolved into an absolute (but highly entertaining) mess:

“Two separate groups of directors have proclaimed themselves the rightful stewards of Rogers Communications, a sprawling C$30bn telecommunications and entertainment empire with interests in media, professional hockey, basketball, baseball, football and soccer.

On Friday, a Canadian court ruled that the faction led by Edward Rogers, son of the company?s late founder, had the power to legally replace directors without a shareholder meeting, granting the eldest son immense power over the country?s largest wireless carrier in a ruling viewed as a blow to shareholders? rights.”

It’s kind of a bizarre fusion of HBO’s Succession and Game of Thrones, albeit with fewer beheadings (so far). Toronto?s mayor, John Tory, was brought in to try and mitigate the ongoing feud, but that fell apart when it was revealed that he’d been getting $80,000 (US) in annual compensation from the board for the last seven years. Keep in mind this is all going on as the company attempts to finalize its $26 billion merger with Canadian telecom giant Shaw, a merger that will be probably approved because in North America, mindless rubber stamping of harmful consolidation is kind of what we do.

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Companies: rogers

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Comments on “Canadian Telecom Giant Rogers Mired In Bizarre Executive Power Feud That Began With A Butt Dial”

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14 Comments
Jimmy Pro says:

Earn it act coming back

Senator Lindsey Graham of SC-R. And Richard Blumenthal CT-D plan to reintroduce the EARN IT ACT to break encryption to stop child porn.

Plan to sneak it into a must pass spending bill at the end of this year. What I do not understand is why Senator Ron Wyden OR-D is not trying to stop the bill from being snuck into a spending bill considering Senator Wyden is the finance chairman???

Any guesses?

Wyrm (profile) says:

Re:

Canada is part of America. Just not part of the USA.

I knew that some people in the US think that their country is all there is to America, but they should learn that there are other countries on this continent. Canada, Mexico, Brazil, just to name a few. 😀

Granted, there are many cases where people refer to "the USA" as simply "America", but that’s just a figure of speech.

Now rubber-stamped mergers are not a problem unique to the US. Not even to the American continent for that matter.

I’m also amused at how some of these companies are trying to pretend that less competition is better for customers and the economy at large. They remind me of a tobacco company that tried to advertise cigarettes as actually good for your health.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Rrrrr

This should be "Ted Rogers Jr’s son Ed Rogers" but yes, this company has been rogering Canadians for decades. Sadly their only real competition, Bell, is just as bad.

Just avoid confusing them with jollyrogertelephone.com – who differ in that they openly admit to being pirates instead of being coy, and in what they’re offering being an actually useful service – a spam block for SIP internet telephony.

Dan Z says:

We need a new age Marconi with a disruptive tech to shake things up
SpaceX…Amazon…Bell & Rogers should be looking over their shoulders at the new guys on the block that have more more capital resources than they could ever dream of
Their days are limited unless the spineless CRTC makes more moronic rule to keep them in play

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