Q&A with Rogers Communications’ Loretta Rogers

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Rogers Communications Inc. Loretta Rogers, the widow of Ted Rogers, co-founder and director of the company, answered e-mailed questions about power struggles at Canada’s largest wireless carrier. His son Edward, Rogers’ chair, attempted to remove CEO Joe Natale and other executives from the company, but was reprimanded for standing in support of his sister Melinda Rogers and other directors.

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How do you feel about the company’s recent performance and long-term strategy?

I am very supportive of where we are today and where we are going. One of the wonderful things about being a family run company is that we take a long term outlook, not a quarter by quarter.

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Before Ted passed away, he planned for professional leaders to take over the company, with the family constantly involved. That means we need to find the right CEO to move forward, and we have Joe in it.

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The investments we are making with Shaw, in our network, in our communities, and in our employees, are right, and I am very confident about Rogers’ future under Joe and his leadership team.

There seems to be a deep rift in family trust – what can you tell us about it?

First of all, I would say that it is unfortunate that some confidential discussions have made their way into the media. Second, what I have read in the media over the past week is superfluous.

When Ted and I founded the Trust, we did it in a way that brought together the combination of family and longtime company executives who helped build Rogers into the company we have today. Ted counts on each member to protect his legacy and build a strong Rogers for generations to come.

Every family has differences, and we are no different in this matter. We each have strong ideas but at the end of the day, we all have Rogers’ best interest at heart.

We understand that Edward intended not only to replace Joe Natale with Tony Stafieri, but also to part ways with nine other members of the executive leadership team. What are your concerns about Edward’s plan to completely replace the management team?

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I really want my family and our board to have a strong opinion on what is best for the future of our company and Ted’s legacy. That’s our job. But my hope is that from now on those important and confidential discussions will remain in the room. Our Board has shown clear support for Joe and what he and the management team are taking the company in. Everyone jumped to the right conclusions about what was best for the long term of the company.

Do you intend to renew Edward’s position as chairman of the Rogers Control Trust for one more year? If not, will Melinda play that role?

The discussions around trust are private but I know every member wants to put the company first with every decision they make.

Ted cared deeply for his family and wanted to make sure he was a part of Rogers for generations to come.

Each member of our family brings their own valuable perspectives and contributions and I know they all share the goal of continuing to grow our company.

Are you considering changes to strengthen the governance of the company in light of recent events? If yes, what would they be?

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We have a strong track record of good governance and will continue to do so. I have full faith in my board. This group of people reflect a wide variety of views and have great experiences from a wide variety of backgrounds.

What do you think Ted would have wanted?

There’s no doubt in my mind that Ted would be incredibly proud of where our company is today and where we’re headed.

Ted was a true visionary, finding things other people didn’t, tireless in finding out what customers needed, but more importantly, what they wanted in the future.

He woke up every day thinking about Rogers’ customers – I remember that at one point, I was at home one evening and a customer called our house, I asked how they got our phone number and they told me Told that Ted gave it to them. He speaks exactly who he was.

When I think about where we are today, with Joe and our team of 24,000 employees, our company is a bold investment in growing, caring for, giving back to our communities, and Canadians for decades to come. With doing so, I know Ted will be incredibly pleased with the journey we are on.

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Inside the Rogers board battle: Late Ted Rogers’ wife, Loretta, supports CEO Natale

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