BCE chief executive and president George Cope will retire at the start of next year after over a decade as CEO.
A new press release from BCE, the telecommunications and media company which owns Bell Canada, CTV, and a portion of Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, said that during his tenure, the 57-year-old Cope re-energized Bell as an agile competitor and the industry’s growth leader.
“He has led the restructuring initiatives and made the critical investments in Bell’s team, networks and customer service infrastructure required to build a bold competitor across every segment of communications,” said Gordon Nixon, Chair of BCE and Bell Canada. “As a key member of the Bell executive leadership team, Mirko has partnered closely with George on this remarkable journey and will continue to do so until he assumes the CEO role in January 2020.”
Cope joined Bell in 2006 as the company’s chief operating officer after heading up the Telus wireless brand. During his tenure, Cope grew the company’s wireless business and made strategic business investments and acquisitions valued at more than $15 billion CAD.
The company confirmed that current chief operating officer Mirko Bibic will takeover for Cope on January 5, 2020.
“The BCE Board is pleased to take the next step in our succession plan by confirming Mirko Bibic as our next CEO,” said Nixon. “Mirko is a seasoned Bell executive who has played a critical leadership role in the company’s strategic transformation over the last decade. With deep experience across Bell’s business segments, outstanding financial and operational acumen, and an unmatched understanding of the issues transforming the Canadian communications landscape, Mirko is the ideal choice to lead Bell’s management team forward in the execution of our growth strategy.”
As BCE COO, Bibic has been in charge of Bell Mobility, Bell Business Markets, and Bell Residential and Small Business. He also previously served as executive vice-president of corporate development and as Bell‘s chief legal and regulatory officer.
“It is a profound honour to be chosen as the next CEO of this great Canadian institution. I am grateful for the confidence that our Board, George Cope and the Bell executive team have shown in me, and for the opportunity to have partnered with a CEO as experienced and esteemed as George,” said Mr. Bibic. “Bell has become the nation’s communications leader by bringing the latest innovations in wireless, TV, Internet and media to Canadians everywhere while delivering consistent dividend growth for our shareholders. I’m excited to work together with our Bell team of more than 52,000 people to build on this momentum and deliver ongoing value to our customers, investors and communities.”
Cope said the time is right for Bibic to take the company to “the next level.”
“The time is right for Mirko to take our company to the next level,” said George Cope. “He has been front and centre in the successful execution of Bell’s broadband leadership strategy from its beginning. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Mirko through the transition to his new role, and will be proud to pass the leadership of Bell to him in 2020 as the 14th chief executive of our company since its founding in 1880.”