March 31, 2014 / 12:52 PM / 3 years ago

Telus names CEO as Entwistle becomes executive chairman

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Telus Corp Chief Executive Officer Darren Entwistle speaks at their annual shareholders meeting in Toronto, May 5, 2011.Mark Blinch

TORONTO (Reuters) - Telecommunications company Telus Corp (T.TO) said on Monday that Chief Executive Officer Darren Entwistle would become executive chairman next month, and Chief Commercial Officer Joe Natale would replace him.

Telus said Brian Canfield was retiring as chairman after nearly 60 years in the Canadian telecom industry. Before joining Telus, he worked for BC Tel.

While analysts said the changes came as a bit of a surprise, they expressed confidence that Telus remains in good hands and that the handover is coming at a relatively stable time for the company.

"Apart from the fact that Entwistle will remain as executive chairman, we like the fact that Natale is becoming CEO," Canaccord Genuity analyst Dvai Ghose said in a research note. "He offers solid continuity and breadth of experience."

Entwistle has led Vancouver-based Telus for the last 14 years. The company said Natale would join its board and continue to be based in Toronto.

Dick Auchinleck, who has been on the company's board for over a decade, will become lead director of Telus.

All the changes will take effect at the company's annual meeting on May 8.

Shares in Telus were up 6 Canadian cents at C$40.41 in morning trading on the Toronto Stock Exchange.

Reporting by Euan Rocha; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe and Lisa Von Ahn

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