New Rogers CEO Guy Laurence Urges Company Shake-Up

The former Vodafone U.K. exec, who became head of the Canadian cable and wireless giant in January, vowed changes after fourth quarter earnings slid.

TORONTO – Former U.K. Vodafone Group top exec Guy Laurence only grabbed the reins at Rogers Communications in January, but he's already talking about a major shake-up of the Canadian cable and wireless phone giant to bump up overall margins and earnings.

Laurence, president and CEO at Rogers Communications, said on his first analyst call on Wednesday that he wasn't around for the company's fourth quarter but expects to "do better."

"However, I will say that with respect to the results of Q4 and certain of the trends that, while there are areas of strength overall, they're not satisfactory to me and over time I expect to do better," Laurence told analysts.

STORY: Vodafone UK's Guy Laurence Named New CEO at Canada's Rogers Communications 

His comments came after Rogers posted year-end earnings of CAN$320 million (US$291 million), down 39 percent from the fourth quarter of 2012, on overall revenue down 1 percent to CAN$3.24 billion (US$2.95 billion).

"The foundation of the company is strong and we continue to generate healthy margins and cash flow, but our rate of growth has slowed," Laurence said.

"I know we can do better, and this is a key focus for me and the management team," he added.

Rogers added fewer smartphones and lost 28,000 cable TV customers during the latest quarter, as the media group faces strong competition from arch-rival BCE, the Canadian phone giant.

Rogers added 13,000 high-speed Internet subscribers, though.

To stem increasing cord-cutting and shaving in the Canadian market, Rogers Communications recently bolstered its cable sports channel offerings by paying CAN$5.2 billion (US$4.73 billion) for the exclusive National Hockey League broadcast rights in Canada for 12 years.