Chief Operating Officer Mirko Bibic will assume leadership of Bell and BCE Inc. in January when President and Chief Executive Officer George Cope retires.
Cope, 58, will have helmed the organization for almost 12 years when he steps down, effective Jan. 5.
“The BCE Board is pleased to take the next step in our succession plan by confirming Mirko Bibic as our next CEO,” said Gordon Nixon, Chair of BCE and Bell Canada, in a release. “Mirko is a seasoned Bell executive who has played a critical leadership role in the company’s strategic transformation over the last decade. With deep experience across Bell’s business segments, outstanding financial and operational acumen, and an unmatched understanding of the issues transforming the Canadian communications landscape, Mirko is the ideal choice to lead Bell’s management team forward in the execution of our growth strategy.”
“In his tenure as our CEO, George Cope has re-energized Bell as an agile competitor and the industry’s growth leader. He has led the restructuring initiatives and made the critical investments in Bell’s team, networks and customer service infrastructure required to build a bold competitor across every segment of communications. As a key member of the Bell executive leadership team, Mirko has partnered closely with George on this remarkable journey and will continue to do so until he assumes the CEO role in January 2020,” added Nixon.
Bibic has been a Bell executive since 2004 and is currently the CEO responsible for Bell Mobility, Bell Residential and Small Business, and Bell Business Markets (BBM). He’s led several successful consumer and business initiatives, including the expansion of Bell Wireless Home Internet to rural communities; the introduction of low-cost Lucky Mobile and Virgin Mobile prepaid service in Dollarama stores; and Bell Media’s re-launch of Crave last fall.
“The time is right for Mirko to take our company to the next level,” Cope said in a release. “He has been front and centre in the successful execution of Bell’s broadband leadership strategy from its beginning. I look forward to continuing to work closely with Mirko through the transition to his new role, and will be proud to pass the leadership of Bell to him in 2020 as the 14th chief executive of our company since its founding in 1880.”
Cope’s 14-year career with Bell began with his appointment as Chief Operating Officer in Jan. 2006. He assumed the president and CEO role in 2008 and has executed an estimated $15 billion in strategic investments and acquisitions including CTV, Astral, The Source, Bell Aliant, Manitoba Telecom Services (MTS), Virgin Mobile Canada, the Montreal Canadiens, and Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment.
Cope also led the launch of the Bell Let’s Talk initiative in 2009, the largest-ever corporate commitment to Canadian mental health. He was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2014, named Canada’s CEO of the Year in 2015 and inducted into the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 2018.
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