Rogers Communications won’t appeal reinstatement of ousted board chair

Rogers Communications has decided not to pursue an appeal after a Canadian judge ruled on Friday a move by ousted board chair Edward Rogers to regain his position and replace several board members with his personal picks was legal.

In a brief statement following the court ruling, the operator said the board now comprises Robert Dépatie, Robert Gemmell, Alan Horn, Philip Lind, Melinda Rogers-Hixon, Martha Rogers, Loretta Rogers, Joe Natale, Michael Cooper, Jack Cockwell, Jan Innes, Ivan Fecan, John Kerr and Edward Rogers, with the latter once again chair. It indicated it would not appeal in a separate statement issued Sunday.

Edward Rogers was booted out of the chairman’s seat in October after reportedly attempting to replace a majority of the operator’s senior leadership, including CEO Joe Natale. While Rogers’ mother and sisters publicly backed Natale, Bloomberg reported Edward Rogers wanted to replace him with former CFO Tony Staffieri. Staffieri abruptly left Rogers Communications at the end of September and was replaced by interim CFO Paulina Molnar.

Following his removal, Rogers sought to use his power as chair of Rogers Control Trust – which holds voting control over Rogers Communications – to replace five of the board’s members with his own picks and reinstate himself at the helm. The operator pushed back and the matter went to court.

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In a statement following the judge’s ruling, Edward Rogers said “Mr. Natale remains CEO and a director of Rogers Communications and has the Board's support. Our focus must be on the business, a return to stability and closing our transformational merger with Shaw Communications.”

Rogers insisted that he took “no joy” in recent events but argued the court decision confirmed his actions were appropriate.

“As chair of the Rogers Control Trust, my responsibility is to ensure that the company is properly governed and effectively managed. I take that responsibility very seriously,” he stated. “The company requires an effective board that shares a strategic vision for the business, is open, deliberate, consistent in its decision making, independent of management, and that always acts in the best interests of the corporation.”