Rogers Loses Another Executive as Sports & Media President Jordan Banks Departs

Jordan Banks, President of Sports & Media at Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI), has left the company— reports The Globe and Mail.

It looks like the company has lost yet another executive in the aftermath of an extremely public boardroom power struggle between members of the Rogers family that control the company.

Banks will be replaced by Colette Watson, who worked at Rogers for three decades but left in 2019 to become President of the Cable Public Affairs Channel (CPAC), two sources with knowledge of the matter told the publication.

Rogers was engulfed in boardroom drama for quite some time last year after board chairman Edward Rogers was dismissed from his position in the aftermath of a power struggle for the CEO position.

Mr. Rogers wished to replace company CEO Joe Natale with long-standing CFO Tony Staffieri, citing concerns that the former was underperforming.

Following his dismissal as chairman, Mr. Rogers replaced the directors that opposed him and created a board of his own without holding a shareholder meeting. The legality of that move was challenged by the company’s management, Mr. Rogers’s mother and two of his sisters included.

Mr. Rogers ultimately won the ensuing legal battle in the B.C. Supreme Court, seizing control of the company and promptly making the changes he originally desired to its leadership.

Mr. Staffieri announced the departure of Mr. Banks in a note to staff on Friday. Mr. Banks is a former eBay Inc. and Facebook Inc. executive.

The Rogers CEO went on to praise Ms. Watson as a proven industry leader and innovator whose aim is to return the division to growth.

Ms. Watson is taking charge of a division that, while part of RCI’s legacy, has taken quite a few hits with sports viewership, game attendance, and ad spending all down as a result of the pandemic.

To her credit, Ms. Watson has decades of experience under her belt and has a reputation as a creative cost-cutter. In a 2018 interview with The Globe and Mail, Ms. Watson said: “I have never, in my career, missed a budget.”

Since Mr. Staffieri has taken the helm, several top-level management executives have departed from the company and many changes in leadership have been made.

Just last week, Dave Fuller, President of RCI’s wireless business, exited the company. Fuller was replaced by longtime company executive Phil Hartling.

Other departures include Chief Communications Officer Sevaun Palvetzian and Dan Golberg, Senior Vice-President of strategy and corporate development. At the same time, seasoned director Robert Dépatie stepped down from the board and assumed the role of President and Chief Operating Officer of RCI’s newly created home and business division.