Rogers Countersues Ex-CEO Joe Natale, Demands Return of Severance Payments Plus Damages

Rogers Communications (TSX: RCI.B) has taken legal action against its former chief executive, Joe Natale, in a countersuit filed in Ontario Superior Court. The telecommunications company is seeking the return of more than $15 million in severance payments it claims Natale received improperly.

In its filing, Rogers alleges that Natale attempted to undermine corporate governance and his fiduciary responsibilities for personal gain. The company asserts that Natale must be held accountable for his actions and the damage caused to the organization. Rogers also contends that it has fulfilled its obligations to the former CEO.

“He must now answer for his conduct and the harm he caused to the company. And he must repay the significant severance he has already received beyond what he is entitled to under a with-cause termination,” they wrote in the statement of claim.

This countersuit comes shortly after Natale initiated legal proceedings against Rogers, alleging wrongful dismissal and breach of contract. He also accused the company’s chairman, Edward Rogers, of engaging in malicious and oppressive behavior.

Natale’s claims include allegations that Edward and Suzanne Rogers attempted to tarnish his reputation by creating a derogatory video and distributing it to various individuals, including family, friends, and colleagues. The video used explicit language to describe Natale’s departure from the company.

In addition to the severance repayment, Rogers is pursuing punitive damages, citing Natale’s “wanton, high-handed, and outrageous disregard” for the company’s interests and shareholders.

The dispute between Natale and Rogers began after a power struggle within the boardroom. Edward Rogers sought to replace Natale with the then-chief financial officer, Tony Staffieri, leading to Staffieri’s departure and a board vote that temporarily removed Edward as chairman. Subsequently, Edward was reinstated following a court ruling, and Staffieri assumed the role of president and CEO.

RELATED: Rogers CEO Sees Compensation Climb Nearly 600% In 2022 To $31.5 Million

Rogers contends that initially, Natale had agreed to resign and negotiated a retirement package but subsequently reneged on the agreement and pursued actions to secure additional benefits without proper authorization.

Information for this story was found via Bloomberg, and the sources and companies mentioned. The author has no securities or affiliations related to the organizations discussed. Not a recommendation to buy or sell. Always do additional research and consult a professional before purchasing a security. The author holds no licenses.

Leave a Reply