Rogers Communications Inc. says president and CEO Nadir Mohamed has decided to retire in January 2014 but will continue to lead the company through 2013.
The Rogers board of directors will appoint a search committee and select a search firm to begin an international search for a replacement.
The company says Edward Rogers will not be a candidate and neither will Melinda Rogers and they will both be involved in the search process. Mohamed will also be engaged in the selection process.
Mohamed began his communications career more than 30 years ago and joined Rogers in August 2000.
He was president and CEO of Rogers Wireless from 2001 to 2005 and president and COO of Rogers Communications Group in 2005 before being appointed to succeed late company founder Ted Rogers in March 2009.
The company says that since Mohamed became CEO in March 2009, the company has become the largest wireless carrier in Canada and significantly strengthened the balance sheet.
"Nadir is a highly regarded executive who has delivered strong results and substantial value for more than a decade," said Alan Horn, the chairman of the board of Rogers Communications Inc.
"The board is grateful for his significant contributions and looks forward to working with him to ensure a seamless and orderly transition."
"The company's in great shape and it's time to start the transition to the next generation of leadership," said Mohammed. "Over the next year I look forward to delivering strong results and to ensuring a seamless transition."
Better than expected results
Shortly after the unexpected late-night announcement, the company released better-than-expected financial results for the fourth quarter of 2012.
Rogers said it had a record quarter for smartphone sales, an important driver for revenue in the company's wireless division.
"Importantly, we achieved or exceeded all of our full year financial guidance metrics and are well positioned for 2013," Nadir said.
The company said the quarter's revenue was $3.26 billion and earnings were 88 cents per share – beating estimates of $3.19 billion and 72 cents per share.
Net income was $455 million, up from $350 million a year earlier.
The company also announced an annualized dividend rate increases of 10 per cent to $1.74 per share.
Mohamed said Rogers exited 2012 with accelerating growth across its asset mix and with continued improvements in its key metrics.
He said it was a record quarter for smartphone sales in the Wireless business, the cable division did well with strong Internet growth and industry-leading margins and the media business continued to improve and grow.
Last week, Rogers had to remove some "high level" financial information from one of its websites after it was accidentally posted there by an employee.
A Rogers' spokeswoman has said the financial information, which included annual revenues, was not related to its fourth-quarter financial results.
The information was briefly posted and removed from the website of Rogers Ventures Partners, which invests in technology startups.
Rogers says the information also included the size and the scope of the Toronto telecom company. It included annual revenue in specific divisions of the company "rounded up to hundreds of millions of dollars."
The company has told the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission that a $50 cap on extra wireless data charges such as roaming fees would be too disruptive to cut off customers.
Under the CRTC's draft wireless code, wireless companies would have to suspend some services when a customer reaches either $50 in additional charges over and above what they pay for their monthly plan – though roaming fees, for example – or an amount each consumer would set.