Cope named Ivey Business Leader of the Year

By Communications Staff
March 07, 2013

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George Cope, HBA ’84, president/CEO of BCE Inc. and Bell Canada, has been named the 2013 recipient of the Ivey Business Leader Award. He will receive the award and address Canadian business leaders at the annual gala dinner Oct. 29 in Toronto.

 “George Cope is a force for change, who is always several steps ahead of everyone else in the room,” said Carol Stephenson, Richard Ivey School of Business dean. “Not only has he transformed the landscape of telecommunications in Canada, but he also uses his influence to bring attention to social issues within our broader community.”

Cope has been a Canadian telecommunications executive for more than 25 years. As CEO of wireless startup Clearnet Communications, he successfully launched two national digital wireless networks. Clearnet was acquired in 2000 for $6.6 billion, still the largest transaction in Canadian telecom history. He then served as president/CEO of Telus Mobility, where he rebuilt the regional carrier into a strong national wireless competitor, before joining Bell as president/COO in 2006. He became CEO in 2008.

Cope is a 1984 Ivey HBA graduate, and was a member of the Western Mustangs varsity basketball team. He received an Honorary Degree (Doctor of Laws, honoris causa) during Ivey Convocation in 2012.

“George Cope stands out as a tremendous leader in corporate Canada,” said Jill Denham, HBA ’83, Ivey Business Leader Award Dinner chair. “He has a rare combination of business acumen, entrepreneurial drive and philanthropic energy, and we are very proud to honour him as Ivey Business Leader of the Year.”

Cope is serving this year as the 2013 United Way Toronto campaign chair. A past recipient of Canada's Top 40 Under 40 Award, he is a director of the Bank of Montreal and serves on the Ivey advisory board.

The Ivey Business Leader Award will be presented at a black-tie dinner at Toronto’s Ritz Carlton Hotel. Proceeds from the annual event have supported the Ivey Alumni Association Toronto Chapter HBA and MBA Scholarships established to attract top students to the School and the Toronto Alumni Professorship in Business Leadership, and will now support the new Ivey Building.

Past recipients of the award include:

2012: Rick George, former CEO Suncor Inc.;

2011: Ed Clark, group president/CEO of TD Bank Group (TD);

2010: Peter Munk, founder/chairman of Barrick Gold Corporation;

2009: Richard J. Currie, past chairman, BCE Inc. and former president, Loblaw Companies Limited and George Weston Limited;

2008: Dominic D'Alessandro, president/CEO, Manulife Financial;

2007: Claude Lamoureux, president/CEO and Robert Bertram, executive vice-president, investments, Ontario Teachers’ Pension Plan;

2006: Isadore Sharp, chairman/CEO, Four Seasons Hotels Inc.;

2005: Peter Godsoe, former chairman/CEO, The Bank of Nova Scotia;

2002: Gwyn Morgan, president/CEO, EnCana Corporation;

2001: Harrison McCain, chairman, McCain Foods Limited and G. Wallace McCain, chairman, Maple Leaf Foods Inc.;

2000: Purdy Crawford, chairman, AT&T Canada; former chairman Imasco and Canada Trust;

1999: Fairfax Financial Holdings Limited, led by Prem Watsa, chairman;

1998: Paul Desmarais, chairman of the executive committee, Power
Corporation of Canada;

1997: Frank Stronach, chairman of the board, Magna International Inc.;

1996: Jean C. Monty, president/CEO, Northern Telecom Limited;

1995: R. Jack Lawrence, deputy chairman, Nesbitt Burns Inc.;

1994: Robert Nourse, president/CEO, The Bombay Company Inc.;

1993: Cedric E. Ritchie, chairman, The Bank of Nova Scotia;

1992: John C. Carroll, president/CEO, Molson Breweries;

1991: John M. Thompson, chairman/CEO, IBM Canada Limited.


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