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Robert Depatie, then-CEO of Videotron, speaks at the Canadian Telecom Summit in Toronto, June 18, 2008.Yvonne Berg/The Globe and Mail

Rogers Communications Inc. director Robert Dépatie is joining the telecom and media giant’s senior leadership team, the first executive change under interim CEO Tony Staffieri after a tumultuous battle for control of the company.

Mr. Dépatie, a telecom industry veteran who was formerly the head of Quebecor Inc. and Quebecor Media, becomes president and chief operating officer of Rogers’s home and business division on Dec. 6.

The newly created position gives him oversight of the connected home business, which offers internet, television and smart home monitoring services; Rogers for Business, which serves large, small and medium-sized enterprises; and the customer service division.

Mr. Dépatie was appointed amid lingering uncertainty surrounding the future of the Toronto-based telecom’s leadership team.

Edward Rogers, the chair of the company’s board and of the family trust that controls the telecom, attempted to appoint Mr. Dépatie president of the cable division in late September, as part of a plan that also involved unseating Joe Natale, then the company’s chief executive officer.

The cable division, which Rogers refers to as the connected home business, is currently headed by Dean Prevost.

Mr. Rogers had also planned to promote wireless president Dave Fuller, making him wireless chief operating officer, as well. However, Mr. Fuller said in court documents that he was unaware of the plan and that he did not wish to work for any CEO other than Mr. Natale.

‘We have to find a way to work together’: Melinda Rogers-Hixon says it’s time to move past the boardroom battle for the sake of family and company

Tony Staffieri, the company’s long-time chief financial officer, became interim CEO last month, after weeks of boardroom drama that erupted when Mr. Rogers first attempted to give him the top job in late September. The Globe and Mail previously reported Mr. Rogers had been planning to oust other senior leaders, as well.

The power struggle has been playing out in the midst of Rogers’s $26-billion takeover of Shaw Communications Inc., a deal that is still awaiting regulatory approval.

Mr. Rogers’s attempts to overhaul the company’s upper ranks met opposition from his mother, Loretta Rogers, and sisters Martha Rogers and Melinda Rogers-Hixon, who fought to keep the management team unchanged. Mr. Staffieri exited the company on Sept. 29.

However, Mr. Rogers struck back by removing the five independent directors who opposed him with his own slate of candidates through a written resolution. The new board voted to remove Mr. Natale as CEO and to appoint Mr. Staffieri on an interim basis. Mr. Staffieri is in the running to take over the top job permanently.

Shortly after taking the helm, Mr. Staffieri told Bank of America Securities analyst David Barden that “no other management changes are planned at this time in an effort to maximize stability heading into the Shaw merger,” according to a research note.

In a statement Thursday, Mr. Staffieri highlighted Mr. Dépatie’s industry experience and his “proven track record of delivering shareholder value and driving strong execution.”

Mr. Dépatie, who leaves the board after four years to join the company’s management team, has extensive experience in the telecom and media sectors. In addition to serving as president and CEO of Quebecor and Quebecor Media, he was the president and CEO of Videotron Ltd. for 10 years.

Mr. Dépatie called it a critical time for Rogers. In a statement, he said he will focus on “driving shareholder value and long-term growth in our home and business segments, delivering the best possible customer experience and taking our incredible products and services to customers across the country when we merge with Shaw.”

Royal Bank of Canada analyst Drew McReynolds called Mr. Dépatie a “seasoned telecom and media executive” who is respected by institutional investors and brings expertise in customer experience.

The home and business division is expected to make up roughly 40 per cent of the combined company’s revenue after the integration of Shaw, Mr. McReynolds said in a research note.

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