Rogers Communications Inc. said its board formed an executive oversight committee during the third quarter to put in place “clear protocols” for interactions between chair Edward Rogers and the company’s management team.
The executive oversight committee consists of John Clappison, lead director John MacDonald and deputy chair Melinda Rogers-Hixon, the company said in a filing Thursday, as it reported its third-quarter results. The board will also undertake a review of its corporate governance.
Joe Natale, the chief executive of the telecom and media giant, said he believes the initiatives will “continue to strengthen our governance practices, which have always been excellent.”
“Rest assured that I continue to work very collaboratively with every member of the board,” Mr. Natale told analysts during a conference call to discuss the telecom’s results. He added that a board meeting held Thursday was “a very strong, collaborative and thoughtful discussion with all board members” on the future of the business, the company’s planned $26-billion acquisition of Shaw Communications Inc. and the challenges that lay ahead for the Toronto-based telecom.
Rogers boardroom rift deepens as Edward Rogers faces resistance in bid to overhaul telecom giant’s leadership
The third-quarter results came amid a boardroom rift that erupted after Mr. Rogers attempted to replace Mr. Natale with chief financial officer Tony Staffieri, and oust other members of the management team. The attempted coup was thwarted amid opposition from the chair’s sisters, Ms. Rogers-Hixon and Martha Rogers, and his mother, Loretta Rogers, along with certain other Rogers directors. Mr. Staffieri left the company on Sept. 29.
Rogers reported $490-million of profit in the three-month period ended Sept. 30, down four per cent from a year-earlier profit of $512-million. The earnings amounted to 94 cents per diluted share, compared with $1.01 during the same quarter last year.
The Toronto-based telecom company’s third-quarter revenue was flat at $3.67-billion, while its service revenue climbed 2 per cent to $3.15-billion.
Rogers also added 175,000 net new postpaid wireless subscribers during the quarter – its best result in 13 years. (Postpaid subscribers are those who are billed at the end of the month for the services they used, versus prepaid customers, who pay upfront for wireless services.) Its churn – the rate of customer turnover on a monthly basis – was 0.95 per cent, a record low.
Analysts called the wireless results strong, highlighting lower churn, the number of new wireless subscribers and increases in average revenue per unit (ARPU) as positives. Canaccord Genuity analyst Aravinda Galappatthige said in a note to clients that the wireless business likely benefited from “the return of foot traffic towards normalcy,” as pandemic restrictions eased.
The family trust that controls Rogers met Thursday morning in the hopes of resolving the current impasse and to consider limiting Mr. Rogers’s ability to exercise voting control.
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