After a crucial court ruling in favour of Edward Rogers Friday that potentially put the future of Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI) Chief Executive Officer Joe Natale in doubt, one of his former colleagues at Telus Corp. described him as a "man of integrity.”

Robert McFarlane, an ex-Telus chief financial officer who worked alongside Natale at the Vancouver-based telecom company until he left in 2012, said he has "immense respect" for the executive who has been at the centre of an unprecedented corporate drama at RCI. 

"We did a lot of tremendous things together. I have huge respect for him and he's a man of integrity," McFarlane said in an interview Friday. "I think very highly of Joe but it is not my role to say who should run Rogers." 

While Natale's future with RCI late Friday may have appeared in doubt after a British Columbia Supreme Court judge ruled in favour of Mr. Rogers' plan to replace five directors on the company's board, a statement by the son of founder Ted Rogers shortly after the ruling seemed to reassure the CEO will remain in his current role. 

“Much has been written about Rogers CEO Joe Natale and his future," according to a statement attributed to Edward Rogers. "Mr. Natale remains CEO and a director of Rogers Communications and has the Board’s support. Our focus must be on the business, a return to stability, and closing our transformational merger with Shaw Communications."​​

That statement came following a months-long saga that began with Mr. Rogers seeking to oust Natale as Rogers CEO and appoint former Chief Financial Officer Tony Staffieri in his place. 

McFarlane said that the whole situation at Rogers is a "regrettable one" but the company remains a "tremendous jewel" in Canada. 

"Ted Rogers built [Rogers] and the Rogers family controls it. I just hope that there can be a common interest and move forward in a positive way because shareholders need to have certainty of governance," he said.