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Rogers replaces chief technology officer after national outage

Rogers has replaced its chief technology officer, after the devastating nationwide telecommunications blackout earlier this month, reports The Globe and Mail.

The company confirmed the reshuffle in a statement saying, “Rogers can confirm that Jorge Fernandes will step down as Chief Technology and Information Officer. Effective today, Ron McKenzie becomes Chief Information and Technology Officer.

Fernandes joined Rogers four years ago after working as CTO at Vodafone UK. Under his leadership, Rogers experienced a similar national outage in April 2021. Fast forward to July 2022 and a similar national outage also occurred, shutting down the entire INTERAC network, 9-1-1 services, as well as telephone and Internet for consumers and businesses, affecting 12 million Rogers customers.

Both outages were caused by updates, and the 2021 incident was blamed on partner Ericsson. This month’s outage was blamed on a maintenance update and after a Rogers executive gave an impromptu interview with Radio-Canada Newsit provided no confidence as to when services would be restored.

McKenzie was previously president of Rogers for Business. The longtime telecommunications executive joined Rogers three years ago from Shaw. Rogers’ website was updated last night to reflect McKenzie’s new role within the company.

The Rogers outage prompted a House of Commons industry committee to investigate the matter, while the CRTC also demanded answers from the phone company on the shutdown. Canada’s industry minister has ordered Rogers, Telus and Bell to submit a network security plan within 60 days, aimed at preventing a similar national outage in the future.