George Cope is a Canadian businessman and the former President and CEO of BCE Inc, one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies. He is widely recognized as one of the most influential figures in the Canadian business community and has played a key role in shaping the telecommunications industry in Canada.
George Cope was born on July 28, 1961, in Scarborough, Ontario. He grew up in Port Perry and his father once played for the Toronto Argonauts. Afterward, he ran rust proofing shops and gas stations. Cope’s mother ran a fabric store. Both parents raised him with an understanding of business and entrepreneurship.
He attended Port Perry High School and played for the basketball team and was also student council president. He received his Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of British Columbia in 1980.
At a young age, he developed an interest in business and economics; something which would later serve him well in his professional life. He attended the University of Ottawa where he earned his bachelor’s degree in Commerce in 1983.
After completing his undergraduate studies, George went on to pursue a master’s degree at the University of Windsor where he received a degree in Economics in 1985.
After graduating from university, he worked as a financial analyst for Royal Bank before joining BCE Inc., then known as Bell Canada Enterprises (BCE), as its Chief Financial Officer (CFO) in 1998.
Cope began his career in the telecommunications industry in 1980, working in various roles at BC Tel, which later became TELUS Communications. He held several key positions at TELUS, including Vice President of Operations and Executive Vice President of Business Solutions.
In 2005, Cope was appointed as the President and CEO of Bell Canada, a subsidiary of BCE Inc. Under his leadership, Bell Canada grew to become one of the largest telecommunications companies in Canada, with a wide range of products and services including wireless, internet, television, and home phone services.
In 2008, Cope was appointed as the President and CEO of BCE Inc, the parent company of Bell Canada. He held this position until December 2020, where he announced his retirement. During his tenure at BCE Inc, the company underwent significant growth and expanded its reach in the telecommunications industry. Cope played a key role in the acquisition of Astral Media, a leading Canadian media company, in 2013 and the launch of Bell’s Fibe TV service, which is now the largest IPTV service in Canada.
He retired as President and CEO of BCE and Bell in January 2020 after 14 successful years with the company. In their statement announcing his retirement, Bell said that he had, “revitalized Bell as the industry’s broadband growth leader, efficiently investing billions in capital to build out Canada’s most advanced all-fiber network connections and its best national mobile network, enhancing Bell Media’s position as Canada’s top multimedia company, improving customer service and greatly enhancing the cost-competitiveness of Bell’s operations.”
He is currently Chair of the Board of Bank of Montreal as of March 31, 2020. He has served in public-company chief executive roles within the Canadian communications industry for more than 25 years.
Cope is highly respected not only within the business community but also within government circles due to his strong commitment to social causes such as education reform, poverty alleviation, and environmental protection initiatives across North America.
He serves on several boards including:
In addition to his impressive career success, George Cope is also one of the wealthiest people in Canada with an estimated net worth of over $100 million.
George Cope was the President and CEO of BCE Inc, one of Canada’s largest telecommunications companies, from 2008 to 2020. He obtained this position when he was only 47 years old, becoming one of the youngest CEOs at any major company in North America at that time.
He played a key role in the growth and expansion of Bell Canada, which became one of the largest telecommunications companies in Canada under his leadership.
Cope played a key role in the acquisition of Astral Media, a leading Canadian media company, in 2013, and the launch of Bell’s Fibre TV service. Here are some other achievements:
George Cope is undoubtedly one of Canada’s most successful businessmen and corporate leaders ever. Through his strategic vision and leadership skills, he has been able to take BCE from being just another small telecom company to being one of the largest telecom companies in North America today.