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Rogers Wireless Head Dave Fuller Leaving After Leadership Change

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According to The Globe and Mail, Dave Fuller, the President of Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI)’s wireless division, is exiting the company following what was a rocky and extremely public battle for control of Canada’s largest telecom.

Fuller will be replaced by seasoned RCI executive Phil Hartling, an anonymous source close to 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 conjured up a Board of Directors of his own and fought to ratify the validity of his board over the incumbent in the B.C. Supreme Court — a battle he ultimately won, seizing control of the company and promptly making the changes he originally desired to its leadership.

According to documents filed as part of the legal battle, Mr. Rogers had plans to promote Mr. Fuller to COO of wireless. An affidavit filed by Mr. Fuller, however, reveals he was unaware of these plans and was of the opinion that Mr. Natale was the “best possible CEO” for RCI.

“Anyone who suggests otherwise does not understand his capabilities or our business. He is the only reason I joined RCI, and I do not wish to work for any other CEO,” Mr. Fuller said in the filing.

Given his comments, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that Mr. Fuller is taking his leave from the company now that Mr. Natale has been ousted. Before he joined Rogers, Mr. Fuller actually worked with Mr. Natale at Telus Corp.

This marks the second major executive change at RCI since Mr. Staffieri assumed control. In December, Robert Dépatie left the Board of Directors to become President and COO of the company’s new home and business division.

Mr. Hartling, who will replace Mr. Fuller, has worked at Rogers for more than a decade and has held a variety of roles at the company, including, recently, President of the connected home business.

Mr. Rogers and CEO Tony Staffieri are starting to realize their vision for RCI’s leadership as the telecom and media giant gains ground on its proposed $16 billion USD takeover of Shaw Communications.

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