Guy Laurence takes over as Rogers Communications CEO

Rogers CEO Guy LaurenceThere is a changing of the guard happening today at Rogers Communications. Current Rogers CEO Nadir Mohamed is retiring and new CEO Guy Laurence is taking over.

Mohamed became CEO in 2009 after the death of company founder Ted Rogers. His own successor is formerly the CEO of Vodafone UK from 2008 to earlier this year. Laurence brings with him some 30 years of global experience in telecommunications, pay television and media. Perhaps more importantly, he is a known turnaround artist who will need to steer Rogers through quickly changing markets.

Rogers has not only established itself as Canada’s largest wireless operator but its operations span Internet and cable service and a strong presence in media that includes magazines and recently acquired NHL rights. It currently faces a number of changes across the board. In the wireless space, Canada’s government continues to push for the establishment of a credible fourth national carrier even as competitors are ratcheting up the pressure. In other areas, Rogers faces waning demand for print media and cable services as customers increasingly get all of their media through the Internet. Laurence will have the opportunity to tackle these challenges with a growing portfolio of assets and services. For example, Rogers is now expanding into the areas of mobile payments, loyalty programs and even issuing its own credit cards.

As for Mohamed, he said in a statement:

It’s hard to believe thirteen years have passed and I’ll be retiring from Rogers this weekend. As I reflect on my time here, I can honestly say I’ve loved every minute of it. Together we have accomplished many great things and I will take so many incredible memories with me. I leave knowing we are in great shape and the future is bright.”

It will be interesting to see where Laurence takes Rogers Communications in the coming months and years. As one former Vodafone executive who worked with Laurence said, “I think Rogers making that choice is a definite signal that they’re not happy with the way things are going and they want some change. He’ll shake things up … You can probably expect a lot of people changes, cultural changes in the next nine months.”

Sources : The Globe and Mail // City News Toronto