Rogers family can’t decide on who has a seat on company’s board

NEW YORK: The family squabble at Rogers Communications Inc carried through the weekend, with Edward Rogers planning to convene a board meeting Sunday night with five people he says are new directors of the Canadian telecommunications company.

The company and his mother and two sisters – all of whom sit on the board – have deemed both the meeting and the new directors invalid.

“Edward unfortunately continues to proceed down a misguided and miscalculated path which leads nowhere productive and puts his own interests ahead of those of Rogers employees, customers and shareholders,” Loretta Rogers, the matriarch of the Rogers family, said in a statement on Sunday criticising her son.

She said the board remains constituted under chairman John MacDonald, despite Edward’s assertion that he revamped it on Friday using a written shareholder resolution and that MacDonald and four other directors are already gone.

Canada’s largest cable and wireless firm has been in the grips of an escalating family drama for weeks.

It’s a battle for control of the boardroom, with chief executive officer Joe Natale’s future and a US$16bil (RM66.4bil) takeover of Shaw Communications Inc hanging in the balance.

Edward Rogers has tried and failed to get rid of Natale. But Loretta Rogers, her two daughters and five independent directors said on Sunday: “We unequivocally support Joe Natale as CEO and support his management team.”

One of Edward’s sisters, Martha Rogers, was on Twitter throughout the weekend trying to discredit her brother’s attempt to take control of the board.

“Like in a bad movie, Ed & his Old Guard literally meet in dark boardrooms,” she said in a tweet on Sunday.

“All men. All white. All old. They think they are masters of the universe instead of thinking about the impact their instability is causing tens of thousands of people.”

Edward remains chair of the family trust that controls 97% of the voting shares in the company.

As such, he believes he’s able to replace directors through a shareholder resolution rather than a traditional vote at a shareholder meeting. — Bloomberg

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