Bell Aliant to increase competitiveness with organizational changes as part of 2009 plan



    HALIFAX, Jan. 12 /CNW/ - Bell Aliant today outlined highlights of its
2009 plan to improve service to customers, deliver strong results for
investors and introduce a new, more nimble and efficient organizational
structure.
    "Bell Aliant is an organization with a proud history and we are
recognized for our expertise as a regional communications provider," said
Karen Sheriff, President and CEO, Bell Aliant. "Our strengths include our
loyal customer base, proven service in our communities and a robust portfolio
of products, particularly those delivered on our extensive broadband network."
    "In 2009, we will build on our strengths and with our new organizational
structure, we will accelerate our ability to deliver results for our customers
and investors in more competitive and sustainable ways," said Ms. Sheriff.
    The 2009 plan will include a number of organizational changes. The
restructuring will include all levels of management across Bell Aliant and
will result in the reduction of approximately 500 management positions,
representing about 15 per cent of management or 5 per cent of the overall
workforce.
    "We remain committed to improving customer service throughout the
organization," added Ms. Sheriff. Non-management front-line service positions
are not affected by these changes.
    "One of my priorities is to ensure that the organization is positioned
for continued success. Executive positions have been reduced by one third,
since I joined Bell Aliant last summer. The leaner management structure will
bring all employees closer to customers, allow for faster decision making and
reduce costs," said Ms. Sheriff. "Changes like this are never easy but are
necessary for Bell Aliant to continue to be successful in meeting the needs of
our customers and investors."
    The senior executive team reporting to Ms. Sheriff has been decreased
from 11 to 7. The Bell Aliant senior executive team is:

    
    - Mary-Ann Bell is Senior Vice-President, Quebec and Ontario. She plays
      an active leadership role in those provinces and also is responsible
      for our subsidiary operations - Noralynx, KMTS, Proximedia and
      Cablevision - and our wireless assets. Prior to her role at Bell
      Aliant, she was Senior Vice-President Contact Centres and Vice-
      President Customer Service with Bell Canada.

    - Fred Crooks is Executive Vice-President, Corporate Services and Chief
      Legal Officer for Bell Aliant throughout Central and Atlantic. After
      more than 20 years of private legal practice, Fred joined the company
      in 2003 as Senior Vice-President, General Counsel and Corporate
      Secretary. In 2007, he took on an expanded role to include
      responsibility for human resources and corporate communications.

    - Chuck Hartlen is Senior Vice-President, Customer Experience and has
      responsibility for Field Services, Network Engineering and Operations
      and the Chief Information Office in all six provinces. With 25 years
      experience in the telecommunications industry, Chuck has held
      leadership roles within many areas of the business.

    - Glen LeBlanc is Executive Vice-President and Chief Financial Officer
      for Bell Aliant and has been in the role since 2005. Glen has served
      over 15 years of his finance career with Bell Aliant and its
      predecessor companies and has been recognized as one of Canada's Top 40
      Under 40(TM) leaders.

    - Rod MacGregor is Vice-President, Corporate Development and Strategy.
      Rod joined the organization in 2004 and leads strategic planning, the
      acquisition and divestiture activity for Bell Aliant and also has
      responsibility for Innovatia and wholesale operations across the
      company. Prior to joining Bell Aliant, Rod was Vice-President Corporate
      Planning at Maritime Life and previously worked as a management
      consultant with A.T. Kearney.

    - David Rathbun is President of xwave, Bell Aliant's information
      technology division, and Executive Vice-President of Bell Aliant. Prior
      to assuming the leadership of xwave in 2007, David held senior
      executive roles with Bell Aliant for several key corporate divisions.

    - Heather Tulk is Senior Vice-President, Customer Solutions for Bell
      Aliant. Heather joined the organization in 1994 and now leads all
      aspects of marketing, sales and contact centre operations throughout
      Bell Aliant. Heather is involved in numerous community organizations
      and has been named to Canada's Top 40 Under 40(TM) and as a Leadership
      Foundation Fellow of the International Women's Forum.
    

    Bell Aliant will announce its Q4 2008 financial results and 2009 guidance
on Tuesday, February 3, 2009, followed by a conference call with analysts.
Further details of the 2009 Business Plan will be shared at that time.

    Caution Concerning Forward-Looking Statements

    This news release contains forward-looking statements concerning
anticipated future events, results, or expectations, including statements
relating to organizational changes being made at Bell Aliant and the expected
effects of such changes on Bell Aliant's business and competitiveness. Unless
otherwise indicated, such statements describe management's beliefs and
expectations as of the date of this release, and may be influenced by future
events, some of which, by their nature may be inherently uncertain and beyond
management's control. These statements are also subject to other important
known and unknown risks, assumptions and other factors that may cause actual
events, results, or performance to differ materially from those expressed in
the forward-looking statements. Therefore, the extent to which the expected
results of the announced organizational changes are actually realized is
subject to these many variables, and it cannot be guaranteed that any
forward-looking statement will materialize. Except as may be required by
Canadian Securities laws, Bell Aliant disclaims any intention and assumes no
obligation to update or revise these forward-looking statements to reflect
subsequent events or circumstances. Readers should not place undue reliance on
any forward-looking statements.

    About Bell Aliant

    Bell Aliant (TSX: BA.UN) is one of North America's largest regional
communications providers. Through its operating entities it serves customers
in six Canadian provinces with information, communication and technology
services including voice, data, Internet, video and value-added business
solutions. Through its xwave offices, Bell Aliant also provides IT
professional services in Canada and the US. Bell Aliant's employees are
committed to deliver the highest quality of customer service, choice and
convenience.
    %SEDAR: 00023938EF




For further information:

For further information: Kelly Gallant, Bell Aliant Communications and
Public Affairs, (866) 762-6540, kelly.gallant@bell.aliant.ca

Organization Profile

Bell Aliant Inc.

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