Rogers taps former Telus chief Natale as new CEO after Laurence pushed out

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Canadian cable giant Rogers Communications announced today that former Telus chief executive Joseph Natale will take over as CEO of the MSO, replacing Guy Laurence, who was reportedly pushed out by the company’s board of directors after three years on the job. 

According to the Financial Post, Laurence’s brash style is credited with returning Rogers to growth. But it proved too much for the board’s controlling shareholder, the Rogers family. 

"We have appreciated Guy's leadership over the last three years," said Edward Rogers, deputy chairman, Rogers Communications Inc., in a statement. "He has moved the company forward re-establishing growth, introducing innovative programs like Roam Like Home, while getting the company ready for its next phase of growth. On behalf of the Rogers family and the Board, I'd like to thank Guy for his competitive spirit and many contributions.”

Although Laurence’s departure came as a surprise to to Canadian telecom investors, Post source said his relationship with the Rogers family had been deteriorating for months — a situation not improved by middling financial results. 

On Monday, Rogers reported a 53 percent fall in third quarter net income to $220 million

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Natale’s hiring, meanwhile, also came as a surprise, the Post added, with the executive under non-compete with Telus through next summer. 

"Joe is a proven executive who has deep experience delivering strong financial results in a highly competitive and complex industry,” said Alan Horn, chairman of Rogers. His focus on the customer experience and demonstrated expertise delivering operational success makes him well suited to lead Rogers through the challenges and opportunities ahead.

"During the transition, it's business as usual,” Horn added. "We have a strong management team that will continue to execute the plan and build on the momentum we have established as we head into the fourth quarter."