January 7, 2011 / 5:45 PM / in 7 years

Shaw loses key exec before wireless launch

TORONTO (Reuters) - The man charged with leading Canadian cable company Shaw Communications' push into wireless has left the company, an official at Shaw said on Friday.

Laurence Cooke, previously the chief operating officer of BCE's Bell Mobility unit, was hired by Shaw in June.

The Western Canada-focused company, which bought wireless spectrum in a 2008 government auction, is building a wireless network for a planned launch later this year. It was not immediately clear if Cooke's departure would delay that timeline.

Shaw has been sluggish compared with other buyers of spectrum in the 2008 auction, with new entrants Mobilicity and Wind Mobile already present in most major Canadian cities.

But Shaw and Quebecor's Videotron, which launched in Quebec in September, are seen as more formidable threats to the dominance of BCE, Rogers Communications and Telus, as they can package mobile offerings with their existing cable, home-phone and Internet services.

Reporting by Alastair Sharp; editing by Peter Galloway

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