Joe Natale’s remarks at the 2017 Annual General Meeting
Thank you, Alan. It’s an honour to be here today, my first day at Rogers! When I thought about what I would say today, I was inspired by: the history of the company, the passion of the team, the strength across the wireless, cable, business and media markets, the growth potential – they are all second to none. Ted built an incredible company and it’s one I’ve always admired. I am truly honoured to be your next CEO. Let me begin by thanking Alan, The Rogers family and the entire board for their support, and this incredible opportunity. Let me also extend a heartfelt congratulations to the leadership team and all 25,000 members of the team for delivering strong Q1 results – impressive subscriber metrics, robust growth in revenue, higher profit and free cash flow, along with great progress on customer churn. Together we will continue this momentum and build on it. To be clear, it’s not my intention to set out my plan today… after all, I’ve only been in the job for eleven hours! Alan started counting at one minute past midnight… But what I can say is that I will work with the team to set, in short order, clear and specific strategic priorities. Over my career as a leader, I have focused on four key areas: First, I have an overarching belief that everything starts and ends with culture. It’s the foundation for sustainable success, especially in a fast-paced industry like ours. Peter Drucker once said, “culture eats strategy for breakfast!” This means creating an environment where people can thrive professionally and personally. This means creating an environment where ideas turn into action with agility and steadfast commitment. This means creating a culture underpinned by values that drive success for Rogers and for our team. Second, I believe teams only succeed if they obsess over the customer experience. We will succeed if we look at every idea, every change through the lens of the customer. Every great company is built on this belief. This means absolutely everyone plays a role. I believe there are only 2 jobs in any business – those who serve the customer and those who support the people who serve the customer. That’s why Rogers set out to improve its customer experience a few years ago. I’ve been impressed with the inroads Rogers has made. There’s definitely more work to do, but there are signs of progress. Third, growth must be at the centre of the financial and operational agenda. We need to look at all the levers at our disposal – innovation and investment – to drive growth. As an engineer and business leader, I have always had a passion for innovation. In our fast-paced digital world, our innovation muscle is critical. The challenge lies in delivering innovation that is unique to Rogers and compelling for our customers. But it’s not innovation for innovation’s sake. It must be squarely focused on delivering profitable growth. Overall, I believe that building the right culture will drive an unassailable focus on the customer, and that, in turn, will deliver sustained growth and value creation. Finally, I believe in the importance of community and social responsibility. I firmly believe that when a business does well it has a responsibility to support the communities where it operates. Rogers has a wonderful history of giving started by Ted and I look forward to carrying this legacy forward. But these are just a few thoughts. After all, I just started this morning! Over the next few weeks I want to hear more from our team, our customers, and our shareholders to formulate our strategic priorities. Tomorrow, I’ll start in the field with our cable technicians to get their feedback and input. In the next few days, I’ll visit some retail stores and call centres to see what it’s like to be our customer, and to serve our customers every day. Listening to our customers, and acting on their feedback, is something I’m very passionate about. On that note, let me thank our customers for their business and our shareholders for their confidence. I’m excited to be here and I can’t wait to dig in. I’m in the seat and ready to go! This is a great Canadian company with a very promising future. I look forward to working with Edward, Alan and the senior team to ensure a smooth transition. Together, our purpose is clear: to build on Ted’s legacy and work together to write the next chapter. Thank you.