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Rogers boardroom battle: Meet the players

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Rogers Communications Inc., as well as members of the Rogers family and their associates, have been in the news amid a struggle for board control. Some of the key players are:

Ted Rogers: From beginning in FM radio and cable television, Ted Rogers built a telecommunications empire and one of Canada's most recognizable corporate brands. He died in 2008 with a detailed plan to separate his personal wealth from the day-to-day running of the company through a separate trust. The Rogers Control Trust owns 97 per cent of Rogers Communications' Class A voting shares and holds voting control of the company "for the benefit of successive generations of the family of the late Ted Rogers."

Loretta Rogers: Ted Rogers' widow (they married in 1963) and mother of their children Lisa, Edward, Melinda and Martha. She has a seat on the company board and is and advisory member of the Rogers Control Trust.

Edward Rogers: Ted Rogers' son Edward was chair of Rogers Communications until last week, when the board voted to remove him. Edward then named five new board directors to replace current members, which he says is allowed due to his role as chair of the Rogers Control Trust. Edward held a meeting with the revamped board on Oct. 24 at which he was re-elected chair. Other members of the Rogers family dispute the legitimacy of his actions, which Edward Rogers says he will initiate court proceedings to confirm.

Melinda Rogers-Hixon: Ted Rogers' daughter and deputy chair of the board. She also has a seat on the Rogers Control Trust, of which she is vice-chair. Like Edward, who once ran the cable arm of Rogers. Melinda has previous experience as a corporate executive at the company, including as a senior vice-president.

Martha Rogers: A member of the Rogers Control Trust advisory committee and member of the company's board, Martha holds a doctor of naturopathic medicine degree and is a member of several charitable boards, including holding the chairs of both the Rogers Foundation and Global Poverty Project Canada.

Joe Natale: Formerly chief executive of rival telecommunications company Telus, Natale has led Rogers since 2017. Media reports have described a rift between Edward Rogers and Natale, whom Edward unsuccessfully attempted to replace with former chief financial officer Tony Staffieri.

Tony Staffieri: Previously Rogers' chief financial officer. Staffieri left the company effective Sept. 29, with Paulina Molnar named interim CFO. Edward Rogers unsuccessfully attempted to replace Natale with Staffieri, media reports say.

John Tory: The Toronto mayor has long-standing ties to the Rogers family dating back to his own father, who was a friend and adviser to Ted Rogers. Tory, who was a pallbearer at Ted Rogers' 2008 funeral, is a former Rogers Cable president and a member of the Rogers Control Trust.

Additional board members: Edward Rogers says he has successfully replaced John Clappison, David Peterson, Bonnie Brooks, Ellis Jacob and John MacDonald on the Rogers board with Michael Cooper, Jack Cockwell, Jan Innes, Ivan Fecan and John Kerr, after which he was returned to his role of chair. The other members of the Rogers family dispute the legitimacy of these moves. John MacDonald was named board chair when Edward was initially removed on Thursday, and MacDonald has reiterated his support for Natale and the current executive management of the company.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 25, 2021.

Companies in this story: (TSX:RCI.B)

The Canadian Press

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