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Thread: Guy Laurence Out, Former Telus CEO Joe Natale In

  1. #1
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    Guy Laurence Out, Former Telus CEO Joe Natale In

    When it comes to sudden departures, this takes the cake. Nothing say "fired" before being announced 30 mins before the results are announced.

    Hopefully a former Telus guy will be able to put customers first again instead of shareholders first.

    Rogers Communications says Guy Laurence has stepped down as president and CEO, effective immediately.

    The early morning announcement comes less than three years after Laurence was brought in to restore the Toronto-based telecom and media giant following a period of lacklustre growth.

    It also came minutes before Rogers announced its latest financial report, which showed the company’s third-quarter profit was about 50 per cent lower than during the same time last year despite a slight increase in revenue.

    Rogers says its net income for the quarter was $220 million or 43 cents per share, down from $464 million or 90 cents per share — mainly because of the previously announced shutdown of the Shomi television service.

    On the other hand, Rogers said that its wireless operation had its biggest revenue growth and post-paid customer additions since 2010 with 114,000 net additions.

    “We have appreciated Guy’s leadership over the last three years,” said Edward Rogers, deputy chairman of Rogers Communications Inc., a company founded by his father Ted.

    Under Laurence’s leadership, Rogers finalized a groundbreaking 12-year rights deal with the National Hockey League and underwent a number of management changes that were intended to make the company more nimble.

    It has also navigated difficult conditions for the media industry, as a result of an ongoing shift to digital forms for publication and regulatory changes and competitive challenges that are pressuring the Rogers cable, broadcasting and publishing arms.

    Laurence’s replacement will be former Telus chief executive Joe Natale, who led the Vancouver-based company during a period when it made customer gains against Rogers in the important mobile communications market.

    Until Natale is on board at Rogers, the CEO’s position will be filled on an interim basis by Rogers chairman Alan Horn.

    “Following the transition, the board will look to Joe to take the company forward and continue the momentum we’ve established in the past couple of years,” Horn said in a statement.

    “His focus on the customer experience and demonstrated expertise delivering operational success makes him well suited to lead Rogers through the challenges and opportunities ahead.”

    “During the transition, it’s business as usual,” Horn said.

    The release of the third-quarter results on Monday, however, was three days ahead of schedule. They had been expected before markets open on Thursday.

    https://www.thestar.com/business/201...oe-natale.html
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    Was Telus customer service any good under Joe Natale?

    Never dealt with Telus as they don't have any service around here.

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    They are required to put shareholders first as it should be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ircu View Post
    They are required to put shareholders first as it should be.
    Well, when you have no customers, let's see what happens to the shareholders.

    Sent from my ONEPLUS A3000 using HoFo mobile app

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    A lot of Laurence's 3.0 strategy was customer focussed though, the company was definitley in a rut in the early 2010's. Their wireless churn and growth have been quite good lately. It sounds like some of the Rogers family didnt like him, there's also an argument that the cable and media divisions have been pretty anemic.

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    Nadir's NHL and olympics gambles didn't help either.

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    Article from today's globe re: Laurence, posting it because of paywall

    Guy Laurence arrived promising a revolution at Rogers Communications. He leaves behind a company that is vastly changed, but still suffers from legions of unhappy customers and confused employees.

    His sacking is proof that you can’t violate the two immutable rules of the Big Red Machine. One, don’t cross the Rogers family. Two, you must produce results. Mr. Laurence did too much of the former and not enough of the latter, and that is why he’s gone.

    Full disclosure: I spent two years inside Guy Laurence’s Rogers as a mid-level grunt in its media division. I arrived in March, 2014, two months before he unveiled his strategic plan, which he called Rogers 3.0, and resigned this past spring to rejoin The Globe and Mail as editor of Report on Business.

    I could count on my fingers the number of times I interacted with Mr. Laurence, but the experience was always pleasant. He is an engaging person and an excellent speaker, never better than when he was on a stage or in small groups, laying out his vision to the staff.

    Yet all that charisma didn’t translate into success. And for most of my time at Rogers, the air was thick with discussion of the CEO’s mistakes. It was said that he failed to cultivate allies in the Rogers boardroom and alienated members of the founding family. He rebuilt his senior executive team mostly with outsiders and declined to put a single woman on it. He poked BCE boss George Cope in the eye and paid for it. He made questionable deals, but never seemed to own up to them when they went wrong.

    It all started with so much hope. When he took over in 2013, Mr. Laurence was a jolt of energy for a company that needed it. His Rogers 3.0 plan was full of sound ideas. He said Rogers needed to make great strides in improving customer service. He argued that it was too bureaucratic and its products too complicated. He said the company should be able to take customers away from Bell and others in the business telecom market, where Rogers has long underperformed, and hired Nitin Kawale, a spark plug from Cisco Systems, to run the effort.

    Mr. Laurence also sought to lower the walls separating the wireless, cable and media divisions and get all of them working together for the good of the company. “One Rogers” was his mantra. He crafted a 100-word mission statement for the company. It was poetic, and it ended with the late Ted Rogers’ signature line: “The best is yet to come.”

    It was a fine strategy. But its implementation exposed some of Mr. Laurence’s weaknesses as an executive – such as arrogance: As part of his grand restructuring, he pushed Ted Rogers’ children to the side. When he announced to staff that Melinda Rogers was moving aside as a senior vice-president (while remaining on the board), the statement was a few terse lines. It was cold. That was one of the first visible signs of tension between Mr. Laurence and the family that controls the business.

    A former media executive who’d worked in Hollywood, Mr. Laurence had a showman’s touch. He signed a splashy $100-million deal with Vice Media and appeared on a stage wearing a leather jacket beside Vice supremo Shane Smith, talking about the attraction of great programming for millennials. The arrangement saw Rogers fund a major expansion of Vice’s Canadian operation in return for access to its content and a stake in a new cable channel, Viceland.

    Was it worth the amount of money Rogers sunk into it? Not a chance. More than one Rogers manager has suffered under the pressure of trying to make the CEO’s bad deal work with a difficult partner. But Mr. Laurence rarely missed an opportunity to talk up the Vice partnership to staff.

    The Vice deal was a minor error. A bigger mistake happened in Mr. Laurence’s first year, when he publicly rebuked Mr. Cope’s BCE for complaining to the federal broadcast regulator about Rogers’ treatment of hockey content. “Crybaby Bell,” he called them.

    Several weeks later, the crybabies struck back, not with words but with money. BCE signed a deal for $594-million to acquire Glentel, owner of a large chain of outlets selling Rogers products, including Wireless Wave.

    Glentel is a big deal in telecom retailing. Had BCE kicked Rogers out of those stores, it would have been devastating to Rogers’ wireless results, at least in the short term. Mr. Laurence had been outmanoeuvered. Eventually, Rogers was forced to overpay to buy 50 per cent of the Glentel business from his rivals – paying $473-million, according to the company’s latest annual report. That was one expensive mistake.

    Inside the company, Mr. Laurence became known for an odd form of micromanagement. He became obsessed with a plan to renovate the offices and talked of driving a bulldozer through the cubicles at one of Rogers’ buildings in suburban Toronto. At one of his quarterly management meetings, he declared that all managers should get a Rogers-branded credit card from the company’s banking division. Then, at the next quarterly meeting, he displayed on a large screen the names of all those who hadn’t bothered to apply for one.

    Funny stuff. But is this what the CEO of a $28-billion company should be worrying about?

    In the end, Mr. Laurence achieved some good things at Rogers. He brought in some new executive talent, shifted the culture, and made important steps on customer service, including the introduction of a much friendlier roaming scheme for wireless users.

    Even so: today’s third-quarter report shows that while the company is adding lots of new wireless customers, it still churns them at a much faster rate than Telus. The cable TV business continues to shrink and Rogers can’t seem to get a cable product off the ground that is as good as Bell’s Fibe. That will be the legacy of Guy Laurence’s short tenure at Rogers. Big promises. Modest results.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcalder View Post
    Was Telus customer service any good under Joe Natale?

    Never dealt with Telus as they don't have any service around here.
    No unfortunately. It was a terrible 18 months under that guy.

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    I'm not a fan of Rogers (I'm not fond of any Canadian telco to be honest), nor do I agree with some of the things Laurence did (based on what I've been reading about him)...BUT he did have a good vision for Rogers and he was definitely driving the company in the right direction. So apparently he didn't have a good relationship with the Rogers family and left them out (or in the "backseat") of certain things, but didn't the Rogers family hire him in the first place to turn the company around? Who's job is it to run a company? The Rogers family sound like a bunch "cry babies" (pun intended ) allowing personal differences to get in the way of successfully managing a leading telco. If they think Natale is going to continue the momentum forward and/or manage things better, then they're completely out to lunch. What Rogers needed (and still needs) is an outsider like Laurence to shake things up. They definitely do NOT need someone who worked for another Canadian telco to drive Rogers back to their poor old ways. This is very typical of a Canadian company, and especially of Rogers...start something good and then give it up before it's fully implemented. It's almost ironic. Anyway, hopefully Rogers will prove me wrong with Natale, but I'm allowed to have my doubts.

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    I have found from experiences with Rogers and Telus, that Rogers/Fido has always had superior customer service, and much better retention plans(though that is still not really saying much). I have found Telus to be unforgiving, probably cause they have the superior network and they know it. I'm guessing or (thinking out loud) in an actual competitive environment probably Joe would have been more successful, given his track record. But to go to a completely different market like Canada, where the big three are coddled the way they are, with a complete lack of competion, his same skills set maybe didn't translate as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Michael_2258 View Post
    I have found from experiences with Rogers and Telus, that Rogers/Fido has always had superior customer service, and much better retention plans(though that is still not really saying much). I have found Telus to be unforgiving, probably cause they have the superior network and they know it. I'm guessing or (thinking out loud) in an actual competitive environment probably Joe would have been more successful, given his track record. But to go to a completely different market like Canada, where the big three are coddled the way they are, with a complete lack of competion, his same skills set maybe didn't translate as well.
    what makes you think Telus has a superior network? most speed tests show Telus in last place, also Telus's network is built by Huawei which I personally don't trust. I much prefer Rogers Ericson network, also Rogers gives us VoLTE and WiFi calling on most headsets.

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    Come hang out with me in the GTA and surrounding areas and I'll show you that not only does TELUS have superior coverage, but is also faster than Rogers Not saying it's like that across Canada, but from my experience (I'm with TELUS and my wife with Rogers), I consistently get better signal/coverage and faster speeds (with lower latency) than she does. As for network vendors, both Huawei and Ericsson are world class. Many European and Asia-PAC carriers use Huawei for their world class networks. Also, Huawei now provides Rogers network equipment in some parts of Canada.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GP-SE View Post
    what makes you think Telus has a superior network? most speed tests show Telus in last place, also Telus's network is built by Huawei which I personally don't trust. I much prefer Rogers Ericson network, also Rogers gives us VoLTE and WiFi calling on most headsets.
    I prefer being with rogers cause I get 2 years spotify, and I have a very good plan with them. But in terms of coverage, when I was with Telus, I almost always had better coverage then Rogers. I live and work in rural southern Ontario. Rogers would often drop to 3G or extend coverage, where as Telus signal would hold strong LTE. In term of speed I don't know, as long as I am on 3G it is good enough for me usually.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GP-SE View Post
    what makes you think Telus has a superior network? most speed tests show Telus in last place, also Telus's network is built by Huawei which I personally don't trust. I much prefer Rogers Ericson network, also Rogers gives us VoLTE and WiFi calling on most headsets.
    All of the big 3 use Huawei for RAN, even Rogers.
    Want to learn more about how LTE works?
    https://productioncommunity.publicmo...ls/td-p/130581

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    Quote Originally Posted by GP-SE View Post
    what makes you think Telus has a superior network? most speed tests show Telus in last place, also Telus's network is built by Huawei which I personally don't trust. I much prefer Rogers Ericson network, also Rogers gives us VoLTE and WiFi calling on most headsets.
    Dont know about the east but in western Canada, there is no contest. Rogers doesnt have coverage in many places and drops you down to 3G or even EDGE outside big cities. Telus will consistently keep you on LTE. Inside buildings, train tunnels - you name it Telus kicks *** when it comes to the network.

    Telus is greedy but I do have to give them credit where its due. Their network is rock solid.

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