BMO plans to appoint outgoing Bell CEO Cope as chair of its board

Cope will be retiring from Bell in January

The Bank of Montreal has plans to hire outgoing Bell CEO George Cope as chair of the board “upon his re-election as an independent director” at its annual meeting on March 31st, 2020.

Cope announced he will be retiring from the Montreal-based national carrier on January 5th, 2020. Taking over his role will be the current chief operating officer, Mirko Bibic.

The current BMO chair, J. Robert Prichard, will be retiring from the role after being in it since 2012, a press release from BMO said.

“George’s distinguished record as a public company chief executive and reputation as a strategic leader committed to innovation, growth and good governance make him the ideal chair to take the board forward,” said Prichard in the release. “I am honoured to have had the opportunity to serve as a member of the board for the past two decades and as chair for the past eight years, and thank my fellow directors and everyone at BMO for their dedication and support over the years.”

Christine Edwards, chair of BMO’s Governance and Nominating Committee, said in the release that the board had “conducted a careful and deliberate succession process leading us to unanimously endorse” Cope.

The soon-to-be-former CEO has been an independent director on the BMO board since 2006, the release added.

Cope has had a long career in the telecom industry and has worked closely with the two current CEOs of Telus and Rogers, Darren Entwistle and Joe Natale.

He recently stated during his last quarterly earnings conference call that he will be sad to not be with Bell when it officially launches 5G, which he said will be an exciting time for the company.

The carrier recently announced its Q3 2019 results.

Source: BMO

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