President & CEO, Telus
Age: 53 | 2013: #7 During Darren Entwistle’s 14 years as president and CEO, Telus grew from a regional carrier into the second-largest telecommunications company in the country (ahead of Bell, behind Rogers) with close to 8 million subscribers and 2014 revenues of $12 billion. Today it’s easily the biggest Vancouver-based firm (ahead of the publicly traded Teck Corp. and the privately held Pattison Group). When Entwistle stepped down as president and chair last year in favour of longtime senior executive Joe Natale, it looked as if a clear succession plan had been executed. The unexpected announcement in August that Natale was himself bowing out and Entwistle was returning to the CEO’s chair caught many analysts off guard. Telus’s explanation—that Natale wasn’t ready to move his family here from Toronto (as if this wouldn’t have been sorted out prior to his appointment)—sounded like the kind of “personal reasons” blanket that boards sometimes throw over disappointing performance. In any case, Entwistle’s restoration was timely: Telus Garden, the strikingly innovative new company headquarters that occupies a downtown block, was his baby all along. Because he worked closely with architect Gregory Henriquez on virtually every detail of the $750-million project, it’s only fitting that he presided over the official opening in September.
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