Rogers Communications Hires Telecom Vet Joe Natale as CEO

Joe Natale -David Foster Foundation Benefit Concert - Getty-P 2017
George Pimentel/WireImage

The exec will assume the top job at the cable TV and mobile phone giant on Wednesday, ahead of the Los Angeles Screenings.

A major executive shuffle at Rogers Communications, Canada's biggest cable TV and mobile phone provider, has seen telecom veteran Joe Natale replace former Vodafone UK head Guy Laurence as CEO.

Natale, most recently president and CEO of rival phone giant Telus Corp., will take the reins at Toronto-based Rogers on Wednesday. Rogers said in a statement Thursday it had negotiated a "confidential agreement" with Telus to allow Natale an early exit from a non-compete deal.

The exec's arrival at Rogers, which operates the City network and a string of cable channels including FX Canada, comes ahead of Canadian broadcasters doing deals at the upcoming Los Angeles Screenings for new and returning U.S. network series. It also follows Guy Laurence being ousted as head of Rogers after making a wrong-way bet on Shomi, a local SVOD competing against Netflix Canada that has since closed down, and costly investments in Vice Media and NHL TV rights.

Natale in turn was forced to step aside in August 2015 as head of Telus to make way for the return of Darren Entwistle, a former CEO, in the top job. Natale had only served as Telus CEO since May 2014.