– Rival factions vying for control of Rogers Communications Inc’s board will face off in the Supreme Court of British Columbia on Monday seeking legitimacy for their respective sides.
Here is a timeline of the key events leading up to the Canadian telecom and media company’s court battle based on various affidavits submitted in the Supreme Court of British Columbia and public statements.
Sept. 15 – Former Rogers Chairman Edward Rogers and lead independent director John MacDonald speak on phone, where Edward says he has lost confidence in CEO Joe Natale and sees former CFO Tony Staffieri as his replacement.
Sept. 18 – Natale tells MacDonald he (the CEO) inadvertently overhears a conversation in which Staffieri is discussing a secret plan plotted by Edward to shake up the company board and senior leadership. Soon after that, Natale meets with the independent directors and asks for Staffieri to be removed. Staffieri quits the company on Sept. 29.
Sept. 19 – Edward meets Natale and is joined by MacDonald, and in that meeting Edward tells Natale that he has lost trust and wishes to terminate the CEO.
Sept. 24 – Rogers board meets to discuss the terms of Natale’s removal but a decision to find his successor is deferred. Following that, the independent directors led by MacDonald speak to Natale and obtain his consent to stay on as CEO.
Sept. 26 – Rogers board meets again to discuss a resolution including to retain Natale, and to terminate Staffieri.
Sept. 29 – Another board meeting takes place, which is not attended by Edward, where the resolution to withdraw Natale’s resignation is accepted, and the decision to terminate Staffieri is made. Staffieri resigns the same day.
Oct. 21 – Rogers board meets to consider quarterly earnings. The board announces that Edward is stepping down as chair, and lead independent director MacDonald is named the new chair. Edward uses his position as chair of the family-owned Rogers Control Trust, which owns the majority of voting shares in the company, to constitute a new board, which recognizes him as chairman.
Oct. 22 – Rogers Communication issues statement and calls Edward’s decision to constitute a board invalid.
Oct. 23 – Edward holds an initial meeting of the rival board and says he would petition the Supreme Court of British Columbia to validate the new board.
Oct. 26 – Edward files petition in B.C. court and in his affidavit claims that his mother, fellow board director Loretta Rogers, had supported firing Natale and had made a speech to the board asserting so in late September. Loretta Rogers disputes this, saying that Edward Rogers and board director Alan Horn had given her inaccurate information about Natale’s performance as CEO.