Canada’s Rogers names new technology chief weeks after massive outage

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FILE PHOTO: The headquarters of Rogers Communications Inc. is seen in Toronto

(Reuters) – Rogers Communications Inc on Thursday appointed Ron McKenzie as its new chief technology and information officer, weeks after an unprecedented outage at one of Canada’s biggest telecom operators shut banking, transport and government access for millions.

The 19-hour service outage earlier this month drew ire from customers and sparked demands for more independent competition at a time when Rogers is looking to lift a block on its attempt to take over rival Shaw Communications in a C$20 billion deal.

McKenzie will replace Jorge Fernandes effective immediately, the company said.

McKenzie, a former Shaw Communications executive, joined Rogers in 2019 and later headed the division responsible for delivery of services to Canadian businesses.

The Canadian government ordered a probe and demanded telecommunications companies agree within 60 days to develop communication protocols to keep people better informed following the outage.

Rogers has pledged to invest to avoid a repeat of the massive outage and said it would be crediting customers with the equivalent of five days service.

(Reporting by Akash Sriram in Bengaluru; Editing by Sriraj Kalluvila)