Report: Shaw Communications To Lose VP of Wireless Phone

Laurence Cook reportedly departs Shaw Communications after joining the company last June.

TORONTO – Canadian cable giant Shaw Communications’s upcoming entry into Canada’s wireless phone sector has been put in doubt after Laurence Cooke reportedly resigned as vp of wireless. The National Post newspaper reported Thursday the imminent departure of Cooke, who joined Calgary-based Shaw just last June to manage the day-to-day running of Shaw’s wireless business.

Cooke, who brought wireless phone experience gained in Canada, Britain and South Africa to the western Canadian cable giant, is apparently negotiating a package before leaving the company

Shaw plans to launch its wireless phone service in September 2011, just as young Canadians return to school.

The cable giant will face stiff competition from incumbent wireless players like Telus Corp. in western Canada, and BCE and Rogers Communications in eastern Canada.

Shaw Communications was also rocked in October on news that long-time CEO Jim Shaw Jr. was resigning early, and handing over the reins of the media group to younger brother Bradley Shaw.

The early changeover followed a lunch in Vancouver between Jim Shaw Jr. and analysts at which the departing CEO was reportedly unduely combative.

"We are well under way in the integration of the Shaw Media assets and it became clear to Brad and I that it would be best for Brad to assume the role of CEO immediately so that he can move forward with the necessary decisions,” Jim Shaw Jr. said at the time in a statement.

Shaw Communications also late last year completed a $2 billion takeover of the former Canwest Global Communications Corp.’s TV assets, and rebranded them as Shaw Media, to get deeper into the Canadian broadcast sector.