“Outage” Once More: Rogers CTO Out Following Service Blackout

When a company makes a huge mistake, the brunt of the fault usually falls on one person. For Rogers Communications (TSX: RCI.B), the ax fell on its Chief Technology and Information Officer Jorge Fernandes.

“Rogers can confirm Jorge Fernandes will be stepping step down from his role as Chief Technology and Information Officer. Effective immediately, Ron McKenzie becomes Chief Technology and Information Officer,” the company said in a statement.

The executive role change is believed to have stemmed from the company’s 19-hour outage on July 8. What would have been a service issue has been magnified given the company’s pending merger with Shaw Communications–possibly adding another reason why the merger is risky for Canadian telecommunication consumers.

BMO Capital Markets itself lowered its price target for the telco giant after the outage is predicted to cause increased regulatory risks for the merger.

The firm issued a statement the next day identifying the cause of the outage as a network system failure following a maintenance update in the core network, which caused some of the routers to malfunction.

CEO Tony Staffieri has since apologized and claimed full responsibility for the outage, saying the incident was “unacceptable.”

“Simply put, we failed on our promise to be Canada’s most reliable network. Now our focus is to make things right and ensure this doesn’t happen again,” Staffieri said.

Rogers also compensated affected users with five days’ worth of credit.

McKenzie is replacing Fernandes immediately, coming from his position as a former president of Rogers’s corporate client division. Prior to this, the newly-installed CTO spent a decade in Shaw’s executive team, including as the firm’s COO.

Rogers Communications Class B Shares last traded at $60.06 on the TSX.

Information for this briefing was found via The Glove And Mail and the companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to this organization. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

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