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Noah Zivitz

Managing Editor, BNN Bloomberg

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Joe Natale walked away with $14,106,613 in severance after he was replaced as chief executive of Rogers Communications Inc. (RCI) last year following a governance battle with the son of the company's founder. The payment figures were disclosed Monday by RCI in an information circular ahead of its annual meeting next month.

The severance arrangement accounted for a little more than half of Natale's total compensation last year, which amounted to $27,380,319, according to the circular.

RCI hired Natale, who previously served as president and chief executive of Telus Corp., in 2017. At the time of his appointment, Edward Rogers, who was then serving as deputy chairman, said the company was "thrilled to have a person of his calibre and experience lead Rogers."

However, the relationship unravelled last year as Mr. Rogers orchestrated a plan to replace Natale with Tony Staffieri, who had served as RCI's chief financial officer. That led to a boardroom battle pitting Mr. Rogers against his mother and sisters, culminating with a B.C. Supreme Court judge siding with Mr. Rogers after he availed himself of his power as head of the Rogers Control Trust to overhaul RCI's board of directors. Eventually, RCI said in a late-evening release on Nov. 16 that Natale had left his roles with the company and was replaced by Staffieri.

According to the information circular released Monday, Staffieri received $4,572,212 in total compensation last year, of which $790,000 was base salary.

Here is a breakdown of Natale’s severance, according to the circular:

  • Two years of base salary ($2,705,300) in lump sum
  • Bonus at target ($2,705,300)
  • Executive allowance ($200,000)
  • Insurance benefit ($38,500)
  • Outstanding vacation ($125,901)
  • Deferred share units ($530,891) that vested immediately when he was replaced
  • Stock options ($739,967)
  • Performance Restricted Share Units for 2019 ($2,971,040) vesting over 24-month period
  • Performance Restricted Share Units for 2020 ($4,089,714) vesting over 24-month period
  • 24 months of benefits, pending re-employment

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated Rogers Communications poached Joe Natale from Telus. In fact, Natale had stepped down from his executive roles at Telus in 2015.