Skip to main content | Go to site map | Read our accessibility commitment

News releases

George Cope appointed to the boards of directors and as CEO of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada

    New Bell structure and executive team announced

MONTREAL, Quebec, July 11 2008 -- BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE) today
announced that George Cope has been appointed to the boards of directors and
as President and Chief Executive Officer of BCE and Bell Canada, effective
today.
    As previously announced, Mr. Cope will also lead the company following
the completion of its acquisition by an investor group led by Teachers'
Private Capital, the private investment arm of the Ontario Teachers' Pension
Plan, Providence Equity Partners Inc., Madison Dearborn Partners, LLC, and
Merrill Lynch Global Private Equity. The transaction will close on or before
December 11, 2008.
    A proven senior executive who has served the Canadian telecommunications
industry for more than 20 years, Mr. Cope joined Bell in 2005 as President and
Chief Operating Officer of Bell Canada. Previously, he was President and Chief
Executive Officer of Telus Mobility, a position he assumed following Telus'
acquisition of national wireless provider Clearnet Communications in 2000.
Mr. Cope had earlier served for 13 years as President and CEO of Clearnet. He
began his telecom career with Bell Cellular Distribution Services Inc.
    Mr. Cope replaces the departing Michael Sabia as CEO of BCE and Bell. BCE
also announced today Mr. Sabia's resignation from the BCE and Bell boards.

    Bell focused on a clear goal

    "I am very excited about the opportunities ahead for Bell's customers and
our national team," said Mr. Cope. "Bell's goal is clear: to be recognized by
customers as Canada's leading communications company. I look forward to
leading a unified, re-energized organization focused on attaining that goal by
delivering a better customer experience at every level."
    Bell today announced a streamlined organizational structure and a new
executive team made up of an experienced group of senior Bell leaders. The
team has developed a strategic operating plan that will quickly re-focus the
organization on improving the customer experience, while rolling out
competitive new service, network and marketing initiatives.
    Bell operates in all sectors of the Canadian communications marketplace
and is the country's largest supplier of home phone, high-speed Internet,
enterprise and small and medium business (SMB), and wholesale
telecommunications services. Bell ExpressVu is the digital High Definition TV
leader in Canada, while national wireless arm Bell Mobility delivers to
Canadians the largest and fastest mobile data network across North America,
digital coverage for 96% of the Canadian population, and international voice
and data services.

    New Bell executive team

    The Bell executive team emphasizes the organization's focus on the
customer experience and improved service delivery. The streamlined structure,
led by Mr. Cope, reduces the total number of BCE and Bell executives from 17
to 12.
    "Our executive team offers the experience and stability of a strong set
of current Bell executives, several internal promotions and the return of a
respected industry veteran," said Mr. Cope. "Every member of the team is
passionate and enthusiastic about the opportunities ahead for Bell, and our
ability to achieve our goal."

    <<
    - Trevor Anderson, Executive Vice-President - Network: Serving with Bell
      since 1971 and in a wide range of technology and network leadership
      roles across multiple Bell businesses, Trevor was previously Senior
      Vice-President -Technology for Bell Canada.
    - Stéphane Boisvert, President - Enterprise: In 2006, Stéphane was
      appointed President of Bell Canada's Enterprise business, which serves
      large Canadian companies and public sector customers. He previously
      spent 20 years at IBM and Sun Microsystems, and served as Chairman of
      Sun Microsystems Canada.
    - Charles Brown, President - Small & Medium Business and Bell West:
      Charles joined Bell in 2006 as President of Bell Western Region. A
      manager at BCE Mobile and Bell Mobility early in his career, Charles
      has held senior executive positions with communications companies such
      as Clearnet Communications and Trillium Communications.
    - Michael Cole, Executive Vice-President and Chief Information Officer:
      Starting his career with Bell Canada in 1991, Michael has served in
      several Bell groups including Network and Customer Operations, and
      Business Planning and Information Systems. He was most recently Senior
      Vice-President, Bell Canada Operations.
    - Kevin Crull, President - Residential Services: Kevin was appointed
      President - Residential Services in 2005, responsible for wireline
      voice, Internet access and portal services and the Bell video group.
      Kevin has more than 20 years experience leading sales, marketing, and
      operational teams, including nine years in major consumer
      telecommunications businesses.
    - Wade Oosterman, President - Bell Mobility and Channels, and Chief Brand
      Officer: Wade was appointed President of Bell Mobility and BDI as well
      as CBO in 2006. A telecom veteran of more than 20 years, Wade began his
      career as an executive with Bell Cellular Distribution Services Inc. He
      later served as Executive Vice-President of Sales and Marketing at
      Clearnet Communications and as EVP, Sales and Marketing for Telus
      Mobility and Chief Marketing Officer for Telus Corporation.
    - John Sweeney, President - Wholesale: John joined Bell in 2006 as Senior
      Vice-President - Carrier Services Group, the wholesale division of Bell
      Canada. John has worked in telecom since 1973, including as VP and
      General Manager of Motorola Canada, Division General Manager for
      Motorola's global iDEN business, and President of Kaval Wireless
      Solutions.
    - Mary Ann Turcke, Executive Vice-President - Field Services: Mary Ann
      joined Bell in 2005, and most recently served as Vice-President,
      Customer Experience and Operations - SMB. She previously worked with
      A.T. Kearney Management Consultants and as Vice-President of Operations
      and General Manager of Internet Pictures Corporation.
    - Martine Turcotte, Executive Vice-President and Chief Legal & Regulatory
      Officer: Martine joined BCE in 1988 as Legal Counsel and has served
      with BCE companies including Bell Canada International, BCE Media and
      Bell Canada. She was appointed Chief Legal Officer of BCE in 1999.
    - Siim Vanaselja, Executive Vice-President & Chief Financial Officer:
      Siim joined BCE in 1994 and has held a variety of senior positions in
      the company, including EVP and Chief Financial Officer of Bell Canada
      International. He was appointed Chief Financial Officer of BCE in 2001,
      and has served as CFO for BCE and Bell Canada.
    - David Wells, Executive Vice-President - Corporate Services: David
      returns to Bell, where he spent the first 25 years of his career. He
      joined Bell Cellular in 1985, and later worked as CFO, CIO and EVP,
      Human Resources at Bell Mobility and as President & CEO of Mobility
      Canada. He served as EVP of Corporate Services at Clearnet and later
      served in the same role at Telus Mobility.
    >>

    Transaction update

    The Company also announced today that the Commissioner of Competition has
extended, under the Competition Act (Canada), the period during which the
privatization transaction may be completed under the original merger
notification filing.
    As closing of the privatization transaction will occur on or before
December 11, 2008, the Toronto Stock Exchange has extended to January 30, 2009
time for the holding of the Company's annual meeting of shareholders. While
the Company does not expect that an annual meeting will be necessary, to
comply with legal requirements relating to public notice of the annual meeting
date and venue, the Board of Directors has set January 30, 2009, in Montreal,
as the date and location of its annual meeting, if required.

    About Bell Canada

    Bell Canada provides consumer and business customers with solutions to
all their communications needs, including wireline and wireless voice and data
services, high-speed Internet, digital TV and VoIP services, integrated
information and communications technology (ICT) services to business and
government, and Virtual Chief Information Officer (VCIO) services to small and
medium size business (SMBs). Bell is proud to be a Premier National Partner
and the exclusive Telecommunications Partner to the Vancouver 2010 Olympic and
Paralympic Winter Games. Bell is wholly owned by BCE Inc. Please visit
www.bell.ca for more.

    About BCE

    BCE (TSX, NYSE: BCE) is Canada's largest communications company. Under
the Bell Canada brand, the Company's services include local, long distance and
wireless phone services, high-speed and wireless Internet access, IP-broadband
services, information and communications technology services (or value-added
services) and digital television services. BCE also holds an interest in
CTVglobemedia. BCE shares are listed in Canada and the United States. Please
visit www.bce.ca for more.

    Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

    This news release contains forward-looking statements relating to the
proposed privatization of BCE and other statements that are not historical
facts. Such forward-looking statements are subject to important risks,
uncertainties and assumptions. The results or events predicted in these
forward-looking statements may differ materially from actual results or
events. As a result, we cannot guarantee that any forward-looking statement
will materialize.
    The timing and completion of the proposed privatization transaction is
subject to each of the parties fulfilling their commitments under the
transaction documents and to a number of terms and conditions, including,
without limitation, the provisions of, and certain termination rights
available to the parties under, the definitive agreement dated June 29, 2007,
as amended by the final agreement dated July 4, 2008, governing the terms of
the transaction. The conditions to the transaction, including the receipt of a
refreshed U.S. anti-trust approval, may not be satisfied in accordance with
their terms, and/or the parties to the definitive agreement may exercise their
termination rights, in which case the proposed privatization transaction could
be modified, restructured or terminated, as applicable. Failure to complete
the proposed privatization transaction could have a material adverse impact on
the market price of BCE's shares.
    The forward-looking statements contained in this news release are made as
of the date of this release and, accordingly, are subject to change after such
date. Except as may be required by Canadian securities laws, we do not
undertake any obligation to update or revise any forward-looking statements
contained in this news release, whether as a result of new information, future
events or otherwise. Additionally, we undertake no obligation to comment on
expectations of, or statements made by, third parties in respect of the
proposed privatization transaction. For additional information with respect to
certain of these and other assumptions and risks, please refer to BCE's 2007
annual management's discussion and analysis ("MD&A") dated March 5, 2008
included in the Bell Canada Enterprises 2007 Annual Report, BCE's 2008 First
Quarter MD&A dated May 6, 2008, as well as to the definitive agreement dated
June 29, 2007, as amended, and BCE's management proxy circular dated August 7,
2007, all filed by BCE with the Canadian securities commissions (available at
www.sedar.com) and with the U.S. Securities and Exchange
Commission (available
at www.sec.gov). These documents are also available on BCE's
website at
www.bce.ca.



For further information: Media contact: Pierre Leclerc, (514) 391-2007,
1-877-391-2007, pierre.leclerc@bell.ca; Investor
contact: Thane Fotopoulos,
(514) 870-4619, thane.fotopoulos@bell.ca

SOURCE Corporate

Back to search results
­ ­