Canada’s biggest telecommunications company fired its CIO, Jerry Dias

Rogers Communications Inc. fired Jerry Dias on Monday, nearly three years after the CIO and CEO came aboard in 2013. Although the 71-year-old Dias had a series of minor slips, Rogers said in a…

Canada’s biggest telecommunications company fired its CIO, Jerry Dias

Rogers Communications Inc. fired Jerry Dias on Monday, nearly three years after the CIO and CEO came aboard in 2013.

Although the 71-year-old Dias had a series of minor slips, Rogers said in a statement that it does not intend to “resign from the competition business.”

In March, Dias met with company chairman Keith Pelley and Chief Executive Joe Natale in Toronto, “and both he and we agreed it was best to part ways,” according to a company statement.

It’s the latest shakeup in an executive who would have been named chairman of the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. in the last few weeks.

Dias was CIO when he met with the energy and cable companies in 2013, lured away from the head of Unifor, which represents the roughly 15,000 members of Air Canada’s machinists’ union. He also oversaw a media division and was expected to take over as BCE Inc.’s CEO earlier this year.

Now, it’s not clear what Rogers wants in its CEO. In the latest executive shakeups, BCE executive Joe Natale replaces Natale. Dias ran as Unifor president from 2002 until 2009. He is also part of Air Canada’s new representation group, the Air Canada Pilots Association.

Dias, who is based in Toronto, had a difficult tenure. He said his pink slip was based on a memo from Pelley calling for a “change of leadership.” Rogers also noted that he did not reach a five-year employment contract extension that he made a campaign promise of.

“While the company now has a completely new CEO, it made very clear that it considers itself the leader in wireless, media and other areas and thinks of itself as a competitor with some of the nation’s top telecom companies,” Dias said in a statement.

“I will always be a competitor for this organization, for the ratepayers and for the employees.”

Rogers shares have fallen more than 20 percent this year. Pelley, 43, replaced Nadir Mohamed as CEO in 2013, and Natale, 44, became CEO later that year.

Rogers last month said in a statement that it will buy the popular virtual TV and internet streaming service Shomi, which was co-founded by co-CEOs Nancy Tellem and David Naylor.

The company, Canada’s largest wireless company, owns a majority stake in Citytv and operates 10 cable channels.

Rogers said it will pick up $340 million from Shomi’s previous owners, which include Shaw Communications Inc. Naylor, the former president of Shaw Media, said in an interview that he was disappointed the company had paid a substantial fee to take over the online service from the former Rogers Digital Media arm.

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