Rogers Communications has appointed the chief executive of Vodafone U.K. as the successor to its outgoing president and CEO.

Guy Laurence, 52, will become top executive of Toronto-based Rogers in December as the Canadian wireless giant prepares for a critical auction of federal wireless licences.

He succeeds Nadir Mohamed, who had previously announced his intention to retire as the head of the wireless, cable and media company.

"The board unanimously chose Guy as the best leader to succeed Nadir and to take the company forward," said Alan Horn, chairman of the Rogers board of directors.

"Guy is a strong, proven executive who has consistently delivered strong financial and operating results in highly complex and competitive markets. The breadth and depth of his experience in telecommunications, pay television and media are perfectly suited to Rogers and to the challenges and opportunities we see ahead."

The Laurence appointment is expected to strengthen Rogers' hand in discussions on mobile roaming, which could be a hot topic here after the EU forces its telecoms to eliminate high roaming charges.

EU roaming regulations could be a template for new rules here in Canada and Laurence's connections with Vodafone may help him strike a deal over North American roaming charges.

Although it doesn't have a presence in Canada, Vodafone is a major wireless provider with operations and investments in several countries.

It recently agreed to sell its minority stake in Verizon Wireless in a $130-billion deal announced on Sept. 3.

As part of the deal, Vodafone will receive about $60 billion worth of shares in New York-based Verizon Communications, which had been considered a possible entrant into the Canadian wireless.