I knew when I walked out of the interview with Brad Shaw that I was just handed a gift: that this would be the best story I’d write to date. And I was right. When I filed it, I knew it was gold. When the editor oohed and ached, I immodestly accepted the praise as no more than was due. When they nominated it for the National Magazine Awards… you get the picture. It’s still beautiful. Read it: Exclusive Profile of Brad Shaw, the CEO of Shaw Communications (September 2011, Alberta Venture).
Sister piece: The Cable Guy: How I Fell for Brad Shaw (September 2011, Alberta Venture). The sister post in which I explain why falling for Brad Shaw makes good writing is here.
Featuring, of course, Brad Shaw, CEO of Shaw Communications, and a full supporting cast including JR Shaw, founder and chairman of Shaw, Jim Shaw, former CEO and current vice-chair via quotes from the past, Shaw’s president Peter Bissonette, senior vice-president of operations Jay Mehr, as well as Shaw’s Former Senior Vice-President of Operations Bill MacDonald. A great quote from Iain Grant, a commentator on the technology marketplace with Montreal’s Seaboard Group. Plus, indirect cameos by Telus CEO Darren Entwistle, the Asper Family, Ted Rogers, and Ron Osborne, CEO of Maclean Hunter.
Excerpt that captures it all:
Did a decade-plus of watching big brother Jim run the show give Brad an injection of ambition? Probably not. If Jim, to whom JR handed the reins in 1998 when the father was 64 and the son not quite 40, had displayed the interest to stay at the helm longer, one gets the impression that Brad would have been content to continue playing a supporting role. He shoulders the CEO role as a responsibility, not a reward. There is no ego here, just determination to work, and perhaps a healthy tinge of fear at the immensity of the task with which he’s been entrusted. That’s Brad Shaw – that’s what he projects. “It’s not about coming with ego and saying you know stuff,” he says. “I want smart people around me; I want smarter people than me around me – people that challenge me, that can think out of the box.”
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