WINNIPEG, Dec. 2 /CNW/ -- Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. today announced that Thomas E. Stefanson, Chairman of the Board of Directors, will retire from this position effective January 8, 2010. Mr. Stefanson will be succeeded by David Leith, who will assume the position of Chairman of the Board of Directors on the same date.
Mr. Stefanson has served as a member of the Manitoba Telecom Services Inc. Board of Directors since June 8, 1988, and became Chairman of the Board of Directors on August 18, 1989. Mr. Stefanson will continue as a director until the Company's annual meeting of shareholders in 2010 when he plans to retire as a Director from the Board consistent with the Company's director age limit requirements.
"Overseeing Manitoba Telecom Services through its emergence as a publicly traded company in January 1997 and helping to shape its evolution into one of Canada's leading national telecommunications companies, with a strong record of delivering value to shareholders and excellent products and services to customers, has been a tremendous and rewarding experience," said Mr. Stefanson. "I want to thank my fellow board members who have served with me through this time, and current CEO Pierre Blouin, for their hard work and support. I also want to acknowledge the efforts of present and past executives and all of our employees, who have worked so hard over the years to help Manitoba Telecom Services grow. It has been an honour to be associated with such outstanding and committed individuals in my career on the Board."
David Leith has been selected to assume the responsibilities of Chairman following a fulsome selection process conducted by the Board of Directors.
Mr. Leith was first elected to the Manitoba Telecom Services Board of Directors in 2009 and also serves on the Audit Committee. Mr. Leith brings more than 25 years of experience at CIBC World Markets, and has extensive expertise in mergers and acquisitions and financing that will serve him well in his new role as Chairman of the Board.
Mr. Leith was Deputy Chairman and Managing Director of CIBC World Markets and Head of the firm's Investment, Corporate and Merchant Banking activities until February 2009. Mr. Leith held various senior executive positions at CIBC World Markets in Toronto and London, England. His leadership roles at CIBC World Markets spanned various functions, including Government Finance and Debt Capital Markets.
Mr. Leith's long-standing relationship with MTS dates back to the Company's privatization in 1997. He currently is retained as adviser to the Minister of Natural Resources on the restructuring of Atomic Energy of Canada Limited (AECL).
Mr. Leith was educated at University of Toronto (B.A.) and Cambridge University (M.A.). He is also active in a number of charitable endeavours and is a Director of the Children's Aid Foundation.
"I am grateful to receive the support of my colleagues on the Board of Directors, and I look forward to working with them as Manitoba Telecom Services continues to evolve as one of Canada's most unique and innovative telecommunications companies, and continues to focus on delivering value to shareholders," said Mr. Leith. "I want to acknowledge the leadership and service Mr. Stefanson has provided during his years on the Board, and on behalf of everyone thank him for the strong contribution he made to our company."
About MTS Allstream
As one of Canada's leading national communication solutions companies, MTS Allstream provides innovative communications for the way Canadians want to live and work today. The Company has more than 100 years of experience, with 6,000 employees across Canada dedicated to a mission of delivering true value as seen through the eyes of our customers. In 2008, MTS Allstream had nearly two million total customer connections spanning business customers across Canada and residential consumers throughout the province of Manitoba. The Company's extensive national broadband and fibre optic network spans almost 30,000 kilometres. MTS Allstream is a proud sponsor of Cindy Klassen, 2006 World Champion and Canada's greatest Olympian, and a proud contributor to the Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Manitoba Telecom Services Inc.'s common shares are listed on The Toronto Stock Exchange (trading symbol: MBT). Customers, stakeholders and investors who want to learn more about MTS Allstream services, markets, community commitments and record of creating shareholder value are encouraged to visit: www.mtsallstream.com.