Two weeks after the failure | Rogers replaces his chief technology officer

Rogers Communications just appointed a new executive as Chief Technology Officer. The leadership change comes two weeks after the network outage impacted more than 10 million customers and hundreds of thousands of businesses.

Posted at 10:58 am
Updated at 11:29 am

Richard Dufour

Richard Dufour
The press

Ron McKenzie will become Chief Information and Technology Officer, replacing Jorge Fernandes.

Along with La Presse, a spokesman for Rogers declined to comment on the change in management.

The press announced last week that Jorge Fernandes was out of the country on the day of the outage, July 8. According to our information he was in Portugal.

In the days following the outage, Rogers management stated that the July 8 incident was caused by a maintenance upgrade to its backbone network. After beginning at dawn on Friday, July 8, the outage lasted all day, and in the evening the service began to recover. However, a full recovery was only achieved in the days that followed.

In a report published by The press Last week, Pierre C. Bélanger, a professor at the University of Ottawa and a specialist in the regulation of communications and telecommunications, pointed out that the outage occurred at a time of year when the chief engineer could be on vacation.

Last year, a bug caused by a software update from partner Ericsson disrupted services at Rogers for 16 hours. This update caused devices to be disconnected from the network.

It was Jorge Fernandes who publicly apologized to customers and provided explanations in an official letter. Last week, CEO Tony Staffieri signed the public statement released after the July 8 power outage.

After calling the disruption in services “unacceptable” on July 8, German industry minister François-Philippe Champagne last week called on the heads of the country’s telecoms companies to reach a formal agreement within 60 days on emergency roaming and to meet mutual support in case of failure, as well as the development of a communication protocol to better inform the public and the authorities during an emergency.

The July 8 outage came as Rogers sought regulatory approval to acquire rival Shaw, a deal valued at $26 billion including debt. The competition authority opposes the transaction, arguing in particular that the merger would result in higher prices and lower quality of service.

In his new role as Chief Technology Officer at Rogers, Ron McKenzie leads a team of engineers, developers and technology specialists. He was previously President of Business Services at Rogers.

Prior to this role, Ron McKenzie led the technical operations team at Rogers where he was responsible for installation, service and maintenance, and technical support for both wireless and wired services.

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