MONTRÉAL and HALIFAX, Sept. 24, 2014 /CNW/ - BCE and Bell Aliant today announced that Bell Aliant President and CEO Karen Sheriff will retire from the BCE group on December 31, 2014.
On September 22, BCE and Bell Aliant announced that BCE's privatization of Bell Aliant is expected to close on or about October 31. Upon close of the transaction, Bell Aliant will cease operating as a publicly traded company and be integrated into BCE's national operations.
"Karen Sheriff has been a key senior leader at BCE since she joined Bell Canada as a marketing executive more than 15 years ago. Karen has transformed Bell Aliant into an innovative and efficient competitor that ranks with the best telecom operators across North America," said George Cope, President and CEO of Bell Canada and BCE Inc., and Chair of Bell Aliant. "On behalf of everyone at BCE and Bell Aliant, I offer Karen our warmest congratulations on her outstanding career at Bell Canada and Bell Aliant and our thanks for continuing with BCE to help ensure a smooth transition."
Ms. Sheriff was appointed President and CEO of Bell Aliant in November 2008, after serving as Chief Operating Officer from July 2008. Taking over in an aggressively competitive environment, she initiated a plan of corporate transformation and strategic priority-setting, and led Bell Aliant in its game-changing fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) network build. Under Ms. Sheriff's leadership, the company has been delivering innovative products and exceptional customer service while on a focused path to return the company to growth.
"I want to thank all of my colleagues at BCE for an incredible run over the past 15 years, culminating with my time at Bell Aliant. It's been a great honour to lead the Bell Aliant team and it's been an amazing experience to make big things happen together, including the launch of FibreOP. We're delivering extraordinary value to our customers, with advanced communications products and the highest quality customer service, and to our minority public shareholders with Bell Aliant's privatization within BCE," said Ms. Sheriff. "This is an exciting next step for Bell Aliant with BCE's commitment to continued investment in Atlantic Canada. I look forward to working with George Cope and the team as we begin the integration of Bell Aliant into BCE's national operations."
A new regional leader for Bell Aliant will be announced on the closing of BCE's privatization of the company. On July 23, BCE announced it would privatize its Bell Aliant affiliate, which BCE already controlled, by acquiring the interest of public minority shareholders for approximately $3.95 billion. Integrated into BCE alongside Bell Canada, Bell Aliant will continue to serve customers in New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island from its Halifax headquarters.
BCE plans capital investment of $2.1 billion in Atlantic Canada over the next 5 years, including mobile 4G LTE expansion to more than 100 additional small towns and rural locations across the Atlantic region by the end of 2015. Bell also recently announced the acquisition of two new call centres in New Brunswick that will bring 700 more jobs into the BCE team.
Ms. Sheriff joined Bell Canada in May 1999 as Senior Vice President of Product Management and Development, and was later promoted to Chief Marketing Officer. She became Bell Canada's President of Small and Medium Business before being appointed Chief Operating Officer of Bell Aliant in July 2008 and then President and CEO in November 2008.
A Director of the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board, Ms. Sheriff is also Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Gardiner Museum of Ceramic Art and a member of the New Brunswick Business Council. She was named one of Canada's top 25 Women of Influence in both 2013 and 2014, and Woman of the Year by Canadian Women in Communications and Technology in 2012. Recognized as one of Atlantic Canada's Top 50 CEOs by Atlantic Business magazine, Ms. Sheriff has been honoured as one of Canada's Top 100 Most Powerful Women on multiple occasions by the Women's Executive Network (WXN).
Before joining Bell, Ms. Sheriff was responsible for corporate marketing and branding at Ameritech Inc. following increasingly senior positions with Ameritech and United Airlines, where she began her career. Ms. Sheriff holds a bachelor's degree in psychology, economics and mathematics from Washington University in St. Louis (1979) and a master's degree in business administration, with concentrations in Marketing and Finance, from the University of Chicago (1984).
About Bell Aliant
Bell Aliant (TSX: BA) is one of North America's largest regional communications providers and the first company in Canada to cover an entire city with fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) technology with its FibreOP™ services. Through its operating entities, it serves customers in six Canadian provinces with innovative information, communication and technology services including voice, data, Internet, video and value-added business solutions. Bell Aliant's employees deliver the highest quality of customer service, choice and convenience. For more information, please visit BellAliant.ca.
BCE Inc. (TSX, NYSE: BCE) is Canada's largest communications company, providing a comprehensive and innovative suite of broadband communication services to residential and business customers under the Bell Canada and Bell Aliant brands. Bell Media is Canada's premier multimedia company with leading assets in television, radio and digital media, including CTV, Canada's #1 television network, and the country's most-watched specialty channels. To learn more, please visit BCE.ca.
Bell Let's Talk promotes Canadian mental health with national awareness and anti-stigma campaigns, like Clara's Big Ride for Bell Let's Talk and Bell Let's Talk Day, and significant funding of community care and access, research, and workplace initiatives. To learn more, please visit Bell.ca/LetsTalk.
Jean Charles Robillard
Toll-free: (800) 339-6353
Toll-free: (877) 487-5726
SOURCE: Bell Canada
For further information: Media inquiries: BCE, Jean Charles Robillard, (514) 870-4739, [email protected], Bell Aliant, Jennifer MacIsaac, (902) 225-3704, [email protected]; Investor inquiries: BCE, Investor Relations, Toll-free: (800) 339-6353, [email protected]; Bell Aliant, Zeda Redden, Toll-free: (877) 487-5726, [email protected]