As Guy Laurence continues his plan to reshape the corporate structure at Rogers Communications Inc., he has started to recruit new executives to his team including the head of Cisco Systems Canada Co.
Nitin Kawale, who has led Cisco's Canadian operations since 2008, will join Rogers as president of its enterprise business division starting Dec. 1, the company said Friday.
News of Mr. Kawale's appointment comes after several high-profile management changes in Canada's telecom industry over the past month, including departing CFOs at both BCE Inc. and Shaw Communications Inc.
Mr. Kawale has a high profile in the Canadian IT community, Canaccord Genuity's Dvai Ghose said in a note Friday, adding he was impressed Rogers was able to recruit him.
The hire reflects increasing attention to the enterprise market under CEO Mr. Laurence's watch, said Mr. Ghose, who noted Rogers has not focused on the sector in the past and could benefit from a clear strategy on that front.
Mr. Kawale's appointment follows news earlier this week that Jacob Glick, who has worked in policy and government relations roles with Google Inc.'s Canadian team, will join Rogers in the newly created role of chief corporate affairs officer. The job entails managing a team responsible for government and regulatory affairs, public policy, internal and external communications and social media.
Mr. Glick will take over the responsibilities of long-time Rogers executive Phil Lind, who is retiring as executive vice-president of regulatory affairs on Dec. 1. Mr. Lind, who joined Rogers in 1969, will stay on as an adviser to the company for three years and will continue to sit on the board of directors.
Mr. Laurence split the company's communications business into three units when he announced his reorganization plan in May: the enterprise division, a consumer unit and a separate division devoted solely to customer service, which the company has identified as an area of weakness.
Rob Bruce, who was formerly the president of communications, has remained with Rogers to lead the consumer division but is set to depart at the end of the year. Rogers has yet to name new leaders for the consumer or customer service divisions.
Meanwhile, BCE announced this week that chief financial officer Siim Vanaselja will retire next year after more than 20 years with the company. He has been CFO since 2001. Replacing him will be Glen LeBlanc, the current CFO of the company's Bell Aliant affiliate, which BCE is privatizing in a $4-billion deal expected to close at the end of the month.
Western cable player Shaw is also losing its CFO. The company announced in September that Steve Wilson, who has held the job for a decade, is retiring. He will remain with the company until the end of the year as it searches for a replacement.
Mr. Laurence became Rogers's third CEO – after founder Ted Rogers and his successor Nadir Mohamed – last December. Quebecor Inc. replaced CEO Robert Dépatie with Pierre Dion in April and Telus Corp. promoted Joe Natale to CEO in March, although Darren Entwistle remains with the company as executive chairman of the board. MTS Inc. is still looking for a new chief executive after Pierre Blouin said in August he plans to retire.