Will Alan Horn be forced out? Why the new COO’s promotion has many Canadians talking

As the chairman of Rogers Communications Inc., Alan Horn made headlines earlier this year when he stepped aside for his son, Adam, as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Canadian telecom…

Will Alan Horn be forced out? Why the new COO’s promotion has many Canadians talking

As the chairman of Rogers Communications Inc., Alan Horn made headlines earlier this year when he stepped aside for his son, Adam, as executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Canadian telecom company. But now, the youngest Horn’s appointment has not only raised eyebrows among Canadian consumers, but also speculation about how the move will impact Rogers.

In early April, Horn had announced he would remain as Rogers’ chairman and chief executive officer. The company had seen a slew of financial successes throughout the years under Horn’s leadership, including solid performance across its wireless, cable and media divisions. But the younger Horn had a long history of working at the Rogers’ rival, BCE Inc., from 2003 to 2014. Shortly after his tenure there, BCE announced that Noah Breslow, who also spent time at Rogers, would become its new chief operating officer. The move meant two high-profile Rogers insiders would be moved aside in favor of an outsider.

Many Canadians – including those close to Horn – believed that it was a move designed to allow Rogers to become more nimble and competitive, especially as U.S. telecom giant Verizon looked to expand in Canada. Many thought Horn would decide to stick around, to seek to propel Rogers toward the future.

And that may turn out to be the case. But the recent appointment of Adam Horn has left many wondering whether Horn might resign from the company entirely.

On Sunday, Horn told Reuters he intends to remain CEO even after his son takes on his COO role. But the CEO said he might step down altogether after the firm turns a corner with its new long-term strategy.

“I think Adam is the right person at the right time to lead this company and will play a leading role in implementing the company’s next phase of growth,” Horn said in a statement. “Adam is an excellent leader with a deep understanding of our people, customers and what it takes to win in the marketplace. I have no plans to depart the company and intend to remain involved through the next stage of growth and evolution.”

The statement did not specify the next phase of growth. So the speculation is that after Horn’s three-year leadership term, he will step down.

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