Rogers CEO Guy Laurence says the company has its ‘mojo back’

Guy Laurence

Guy Laurence, the CEO of Rogers, took the podium at his company’s annual general meeting this morning and confirmed the telecom is “on the right path.”

Yesterday, Rogers announced its Q1 2016 revenues topped $3.24 billion, with wireless subscribers slightly decreasing to 9,872,000, a number that still puts the carrier in first place in the Canadian market. Wireless revenues increased from $1.8 billion to $1.9 billion. The company attributed wireless revenue growth to its popular Roam Like Home offering, focus on the customer experience and its commitment to implementing Laurence’s Rogers 3.0 plan.

Laurence’s speech to shareholders, board members, the company’s executive committee, staff and media was about his plans to keep leading in the Canadian telecom space. While it’s long, we’ve gathered a selection of his more notable quotes.

On Winning:

“Every day I marvel at what an amazing company Ted Rogers built… the mix of assets… the innovative spirit…and the drive to win… it’s why I wanted to work here. To me, it’s all about winning and winning consistently… you’re either number one, or you’re not… and I came here to win. So here’s the good news… we’re starting to win again…and whilst there’s a lot more work to do… we’re on the right path.”

On repositioning its wireless brands:

“I’ll start with wireless. It’s our largest business and it was struggling… so fixing Wireless was job number one. That’s why we introduced an unprecedented number of initiatives… 15 to be exact… We needed a boost of adrenaline to put us back in the game…and here’s what we did. First, we re-positioned our three wireless brands.”

“The Rogers brand had lost its way. So we reaffirmed Rogers as our premium brand targeting families with extra value and a superior experience. We then looked at the growing millennial population…and re-positioned Fido to connect millennials to what they love most. At the same time, we injected new life into chatr…helping new Canadians looking for basic cell services at an affordable price.”

On the success of Roam Like Home:

“We then tackled roaming, a huge customer irritant. Customers on Roam Like Home are twice as likely to recommend Rogers. And whilst imitation is the sincerest form of flattery… the competitive reaction has been a pale imitation of what we created.”

On expanding its network and acquiring Mobilicity:

“Finally, we significantly strengthened our network. A highlight was the acquisition of Mobilicity, its customers, and their spectrum along with some key spectrum from Shaw. Solving this complex Rubik’s cube meant we could deliver a vastly better network in western Canada and southern Ontario. We introduced Extended Coverage… expanding our network in rural and remote areas by 56 percent… so our customers calls won’t drop when they’re out of town.

We also extended our LTE footprint, which is now three times bigger than it was a year ago…because we may be the second largest country in the world, but we won’t settle for the second best network.”

On wireless competition:

“Despite a hyper competitive environment…we grew revenue…won more customers… and started to re-gain momentum. In summary, we got our mojo back.”

On customer service:

“I remember when I first joined Rogers…I couldn’t get into a cab, go to a dinner party or cross the border without hearing about our poor customer service…everyone says Canadians are polite, but you might disagree if you saw some of the emails I got back then! At the heart of it, customers value their time. And they get angry and upset when companies waste it.”

“So it’s our goal to save our customers time by being easy to do business with…It sounds simple, but it’s really hard.”

“First, the number of times our customers needed to contact us dropped by 7 million over the year.”

“Inside the company, there’s a real feeling of momentum. There’s a growing confidence that we can do this…that we can fix our customer experience…one customer at a time.”

On the overall direction of the company:

“So overall, we had a good year… But this is a journey, not a destination. I joined Rogers because I wanted to help turn this company around. And we will, but it will take time. 2015 has proven we’ve got the right plan…and we’ve got the right people. There’s a fire in our belly…we’ve tasted what it feels like to win and we want more.”

“As Ted would say, the best is yet to come.”