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Telus Names Joe Natale CEO as Entwistle Steps Aside

Telus Corp., Canada’s second-biggest wireless carrier, named Joe Natale as chief executive officer to replace Darren Entwistle, who is stepping aside after holding the job since 2000.

Natale, 50, will take over as CEO on May 8 after 11 years with the company, most recently as chief commercial officer, Vancouver-based Telus said today in a statement. Entwistle, 51, will become executive chairman, taking over from Brian Canfield, who announced today that he’s retiring after 58 years with Telus and BC Telecom, which merged with Telus.

Entwistle oversaw Telus’s rise from a regional phone and cable provider to Canada’s second-largest mobile-phone operator by subscribers. He focused on reinvesting profit in faster networks, while rivals Rogers Communications Inc. and BCE Inc. spent billions of dollars buying broadcasters and sports assets to add content they could sell to customers.

“He’s been a great CEO for the company, but I think the company’s in good hands,” said Jeff Young, chief investment officer of NexGen Financial Corp. in Toronto. He oversees about C$900 million ($814 million) and owns Telus shares. “Him staying a part of it and moving to executive chairman gives you some comfort,” he said.

Natale was head of KPMG Consulting’s Canadian unit before joining Telus in 2003. He has a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Waterloo and is a board member of electronics manufacturer Celestica Inc.

Telus fell 1.8 percent to C$39.63 at the close in Toronto, giving the company a market value of C$24.7 billion. The stock is up 8.4 percent this year.

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