Bell CEO ‘Won’t Comment’ on Lisa LaFlamme Ousting, Talks Starlink and More [Interview]

Bell CEO Mirko Bibic recently sat down for an interview with The Globe and Mail where he was pressed on Bell Media’s firing of veteran CTV News anchor Lisa LaFlamme last month.

Bibic repeatedly refused to comment, instead redirecting to the company’s “independent review” of the incident. “We have an independent review afoot, and that, right now, is the primary focus,” he said.

LaFlamme, a media veteran of 35 years, said after her departure that the cancellation of her contract was passed off as a “business decision” and that she was “blindsided” by Bell.

Bell Media has since issued a statement saying the company “regrets” the way the situation unravelled. While Bibic did not comment on the matter in his recent interview, the Bell CEO did explain LaFlamme’s ousting last month.

Earlier this month, LaFlamme was hired by Rogers to cover the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Bibic delivered Bell’s take on July’s nationwide Rogers network outage as part of another question. In subsequent questions, however, he refused to say much about Rogers’s pending acquisition of Shaw Communications, Canada’s fourth largest telecom operator.

Bibic was also asked about “the potential impact of a competitor like Elon Musk’s Starlink,” which can deliver high-speed satellite broadband to virtually any part of the world, including Canada’s most remote areas.

The Bell CEO said the company has “never been against competition” and “a low-Earth-orbit satellite broadband provider does fill an important niche.”

However, Bibic went on to note that he doesn’t see Starlink as competition in an urban environment. “Fibre is vastly better. Capacity, upload speed, download speed—vastly better.”

During the interview, Bibic also touched on why Bell went harder on investments in network infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic, when most companies were reining in capital expenditure.

In addition, he went on to explain how 5G networks are installed and what the telecom giant plans to do when 6G inevitably enters the market.

You can check out the full interview over at The Globe and Mail.