Jay Forbes to step down as CEO of Aliant Inc.
- Stephen Wetmore Appointed President and CEO of proposed Bell Aliant Regional Communications Income Fund SAINT JOHN, NB, and MONTREAL, QC,April 17 2006 --- Jay Forbes, President and CEO of Aliant Inc., today announced that he will be leaving the Company effective July 31st, by which time all (or substantially all) of the necessary regulatory approvals are anticipated to have been received for the creation of the new Bell Aliant Regional Communications Income Fund as announced on March 7th(*) of this year. Stephen Wetmore, currently Group President - Corporate Performance and National Markets, Bell Canada will assume responsibility as President and CEO of the proposed Bell Aliant Regional Communications Income Fund. "Together with BCE, we have created one of North America's largest regional wireline service providers, and Canada's largest business trust. In considering the transformation to a new organization, as well as my own aspirations, this seemed to be a natural point to consider new career opportunities," said Mr. Forbes. He continued, "I am proud of what we, as an organization, have been able to achieve over the past five years. Aliant enjoys an abundance of talent and it has been my sincere pleasure to have led our employees in the service of our customers." Aliant Chair, Charles White, said, "Jay has made a tremendous contribution to Aliant, delivering exceptional results for the organization in areas of financial performance, customer focus, employee engagement and shareholder value. He has built a very strong and capable management team at Aliant, who will no doubt make significant contributions to the building of the new organization. We have benefited from Jay's leadership, professionalism and expertise, and we wish him nothing but success in his future endeavours." "Stephen is a very experienced executive with a thorough understanding of both Aliant and Bell. I am delighted he has accepted to take on this strategically important new assignment," said Michael Sabia, President and CEO of BCE. "Over the years, he has established a very strong track record in all that he has done. We have every confidence he will make a major contribution to the success of the new Income Fund." Jay Forbes - background Mr. Forbes, 45, has led the organization since his appointment as President and Chief Executive Officer in March 2002. Mr. Forbes joined Aliant as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer in February 2001 from his role as Executive Vice President, Corporate Resources and Chief Financial Officer of Oxford Properties Group Inc. Prior to this he was Chief Financial Officer and Senior Vice President of Emera Inc. Atlantic Business Magazine featured Jay Forbes as one of Atlantic Canada's Top 50 CEOs for three consecutive years. He was recognized as one of Canada's Top 40 Under 40(TM) in 1999, and in 2005, Jay Forbes was chosen by his Top 40 peers as one of the "Best of the Best" in Outstanding Corporate Achievement. His contribution to his profession and community was also recognized when in 2005 he became a Fellow with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nova Scotia. He is Chair of the Atlantic Provinces Economic Council, a member of the Conference Board of Canada and a member of the Board of Governors of Dalhousie University. Stephen Wetmore - background Before joining Bell in March 2002, Mr. Wetmore held several executive positions, including President and CEO of Aliant Inc, and President and CEO of NewTel Enterprises, from February 1998 until the formation of Aliant in April 1999. Mr. Wetmore also served as president of Air Atlantic and as managing director with Scotia Holdings PLC in London, England. Mr. Wetmore is a member of the Board of Directors of Aliant, Stratos Global and Canadian Tire Corporation. He is a past Chair of the Atlantic Provinces' Economic Council; and a Director of CD Howe Institute and Dalhousie Business School. About Aliant(*) From its home base in Atlantic Canada, Aliant delivers a wide variety of innovative and traditional communications services, including local and long distance telephony, wireless, Internet, e-commerce, interactive multimedia, data and managed network services, to more than two million consumers and over 80,000 enterprises. In addition to serving residential, small-to-medium sized business and enterprise customers in its home market, Aliant also serves business customers located in other parts of North America. Aliant complements its industry-leading telecommunications business with strengths in information technology solutions and knowledge-services applications. Aliant's approximately 8,400 employees build on its 100-plus year history by collaborating to deliver the highest quality of customer service, choice, and convenience. Aliant has a market capitalization of approximately $3.7 billion. (*)On March 7, 2006, Aliant and BCE Inc. announced the creation of one of the largest regional telecommunications service providers in North America. The organizations will combine Bell Canada's wireline operations in its regional territories in Ontario and Quebec with Aliant's wireline operations and Bell's 63.4 per cent interest in the Bell Nordiq Income Fund to form the Bell Aliant Regional Communications Income Fund. The new trust, which will have 3.4 million local access lines and over 400,000 high-speed Internet subscribers in the Atlantic Provinces, Ontario and Quebec, will be headquartered in Atlantic Canada. As part of the transaction, Bell will acquire Aliant Mobility and Aliant's DownEast Communications retail outlets. The transaction, which is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2006, is subject to several closing conditions, including certain shareholder, court and regulatory approvals. For more information please visit www.aliant.ca. About BCE Inc. BCE is Canada's largest communications company. Through its 28 million customer connections, BCE provides the most comprehensive and innovative suite of communication services to residential and business customers in Canada. Under the Bell 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 direct-to-home satellite and VDSL television services. Other BCE businesses include Canada's premier media company, Bell Globemedia, and Telesat Canada, a pioneer and world leader in satellite operations and systems management. BCE shares are listed in Canada, the United States and Europe. %SEDAR: 00012285EF For further information: Kelly Gallant, Aliant Communications & Public Affairs, (902) 487-4642 or 1-866-762-6540, email@example.com; Mohammed Nakhooda, BCE Media Relations, (416) 735-1690, firstname.lastname@example.org; Archived images on this organization are searchable through CNW Photo Archive website at http://photos.newswire.ca. Images are free to accredited members of the media.
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