January 3, 2018 1 year 9 months ago

OBITUARY: Former Shaw Communications CEO Jim Shaw

CALGARY – Shaw Communications vice chair and former CEO Jim Shaw has died at the age of 60, the Shaw family announced today.

“It is with great sadness that the family of James R. Shaw (Jim Shaw) announces his passing on Wednesday, January 3rd, 2018 after a brief illness,” reads a statement from the family.

“A leader and visionary who never stopped caring for others,” says the statement, Jim is survived by his wife Kathryn, his mother Carol, his father JR, his children Haley (Fred), Parker (Megan), Kennedy, Kathryn’s children Monty, Katelyn, Carly, his mother-in-law Janet, his sisters Heather (Jim) and Julie (Terry), and his younger brother Brad (Michelle), as well as his many special nieces and nephews and friends.

“Jim died peacefully surrounded by family and friends.”

“I am saddened at Jim’s passing but grateful for 60 years with my son,” said Jim’s father JR in the family’s statement. “Jim is loved by so many for his unique sense of family, his courage and willingness to take on all challenges with dignity and commitment.”

“As a family, our hearts are heavy with sadness,” said Brad Shaw, Jim’s younger brother and current CEO, in the company press release. “I have not only lost a brother, but a great friend and mentor. Our lives will not be as complete without hearing Jim’s laughter or getting the benefit of his counsel or his insight.”

Jim Shaw served as the second CEO of Shaw Communications from 1998 to 2010 and "led a senior management team known for its longevity, discipline, stability and cohesiveness; a tribute to his consultative style, trust, leadership skills and his willingness to delegate responsibility and reward success," reads the release.

During Jim’s tenure as CEO, the company grew at an incredible rate, with Jim leading strategic acquisitions that would fuel the company’s growth for the future. During the 12 years of Jim’s leadership, the company’s revenue grew from $646 million in 1998 to $3.7 billion in 2010 as cable internet and home phone services took off. The company also reinforced its leadership position in Western Canada by concluding an asset swap with Rogers Communications for territory in Vancouver and lower mainland, and began building the platform for its Internet services, including an extensive build out and upgrade of infrastructure, including fibre-optic networks, digital service expansion, DOCSIS internet upgrades, and upgraded IT services.

Jim's contributions were recognized by another member of Canada's cable royalty, Rogers Communications chair (and son of Ted Rogers) Edward Rogers. "We have known Jim for many years and we are truly saddened to hear about his passing," said Edward in a statement. "We would like to extend our sincere condolences to Jim's family, friends and to everyone at Shaw. Jim was a brilliant man and a fierce competitor. He was a confident entrepreneur who had a transformative and lasting impact on the Canadian cable landscape. He will surely be missed." 

Said Telus CEO Darren Entwistle in a statement Wednesday evening: “I am deeply saddened to hear of Jim’s passing, and my thoughts go out to the entire Shaw family. Jim was a terrific competitor throughout a sea change that transformed Canada’s telecommunications and cable sectors. He leaves behind a lasting legacy for our industry and for Western Canada.”

“Jim’s countless contributions to our company are integral to Shaw’s long-term strength and growth as a Canadian industry leader,” added Brad. “As an operator, a deal maker and a strategist, Jim continued building the foundation started by our father, JR, to create a Canadian business leader and household brand across Western Canada.”

Jim joined the company in 1982 as a construction worker and cable installer and moved up to more senior positions on Vancouver Island. After promotions to increasingly responsible positions across Western Canada, he was appointed vice-president, operations in 1987, president in 1995, CEO in 1998, a director in 2002. He was elected vice chair of the board in 2008, adds the release.

Jim also “was an ardent supporter of several charitable organizations and causes committed to making Canadian communities better places to work and live. He donated generously to several causes and served on the boards of the University of Alberta, Shawnigan Lake School and Strathmore Tweedsmuir School.”

His full official obituary can be found here

We at Cartt.ca extend our condolences to the Shaw family as well.