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Rogers family boardroom fight erupts on social media

Rogers family boardroom fight erupts on social media

The battle for control of Rogers Communications appears to be far from over. The Globe and Mail is reporting that on Friday, Edward Rogers Jr announced plans to replace the directors who only last week had ousted him as chairman of the company. The board had objected to Rogers’ plan to replace the entire management team headed by CEO Joe Natale. The complicating factor is that, like many media companies, Rogers, through publicly traded, is actually controlled by a family trust of which Edward Rogers remains the chair.

Edward Rogers’ attempt to clean house in the management ranks pitted him against his mother and his sister Martha who are also members of the family trust and who did not agree with Ed’s housecleaning plans. Last week, Toronto Mayor John Tory who prior to politics had been himself a Rogers executive and a trusted friend of the family, tried to broker a compromise but was unsuccessful. With Ed Rogers announcing his plans to oust the Rogers directors yesterday the whole affair boiled over in public with Martha Rogers posting some inflammatory tweets against her brother.

When the company patriarch, Ted Rogers died in 2008, he left in place a plan to have the company run by professional managers instead of family members. The first of these was Nadir Mohamed who was hired away from Telus. There was some thought at the time that Edward Rogers would eventually take over after working alongside Mohamed, but the Rogers Board on two occasions after Mohamed’s departure, again appointed outside management—the first being British telecom executive Guy Lawrence and the most recent being Natale who had also been with Telus. Over the years, the three outside managers had gradually reduced the hands-on involvement of Rogers family members.

All this unseemly publicity comes as the company is in the middle of a $26 Billion bid to take over Shaw Cable. The bid will require approval of both the CRTC and the Competition Bureau.

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