Rogers chairman sees 'room for improvement' amid report of likely board rejig

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(Reuters) - Rogers Communications Inc Chairman Edward Rogers said on Tuesday there was "room for improvement" in the company's long-term performance following a report that he held talks with potential candidates to replace board members.

The Canadian telecom company is awaiting regulatory approval for its C$20 billion ($15.69 billion) takeover of smaller rival Shaw Communications Inc.

"In my role as Chair of the Rogers Control Trust, the controlling shareholder of the company, it is my responsibility to put the interests of RCI (the company) first," Rogers said in a statement.

"It's disappointing the focus of others has strayed from what is best for the business."

The company, however, did not respond to a request for comment on a Globe and Mail report https://www.theglobeandmail.com/business/article-edward-rogers-requests-list-of-shareholders-discussed-replacing-rogers on a plan for changes in the board.

Chairman Rogers had recently made an unsuccessful attempt to replace top boss Joe Natale, the newspaper had earlier this month reported, a move that was strongly opposed by his sister and deputy chair, Melinda Rogers-Hixon.

The company on Sept. 29 said Staffieri had stepped down from his role of finance chief, without citing a reason.

"The awkward and abrupt departure of CFO, Tony Staffieri, on September 29th apparently reflects disagreements within the Rogers family regarding senior leadership of the company," brokerage BMO Capital Markets said and lowered the price target for the stock on Oct. 12.

The company is expected to report third-quarter results on Oct. 21.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Additional reporting by Denny Thomas in Toronto; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty and Arun Koyyur)

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