Jim Shaw dies at 60

Shaw Communications' "master company builder" was an iconic presence in Canada's broadcast industry.
Jim Shaw

Iconic Canadian broadcast and cable executive Jim Shaw has died at the age of 60.

A statement issued by the company in the evening of Jan. 3 said he passed away peacefully following a brief illness.

The vice-chairman and former CEO of Shaw Communications served as the company’s leader from 1998 to 2010. Under his tenure, Shaw Communications saw its revenues grow from $646 million in 1998 to $3.7 billion in 2010.

“During Jim’s tenure as CEO, he established himself as a master company builder, leading strategic acquisitions that would fuel the company’s growth for the future,” read a statement from the company.

Shaw first joined the family business in 1982 as a construction worker and cable installer, before being named VP of operations in 1987, president in 1995 and CEO three years later.

He was responsible for heading up Shaw’s 2010 acquisition of Canwest TV (which was later rebranded Shaw Media) in a deal worth approximately $2 billion at the time, as well as the company’s entry in the internet market. In addition, he led an asset swap with Rogers Communications in 2000, in which Rogers swapped existing cable operations in B.C. for Shaw’s cable operations in southern Ontario and New Brunswick.

Following his 12-year stint as CEO, the company announced in late 2010 that Shaw was making way for his brother Brad Shaw to succeed him as CEO.

“Jim’s countless contributions to our company are integral to Shaw’s long-term strength and growth as a Canadian industry leader,” said Shaw Communications CEO Brad Shaw, adding that as “an operator, a deal maker and a strategist, Jim continued building the foundation started by our father, JR, to create a Canadian business leader and household brand across Western Canada.”

Following news of Jim Shaw’s passing, Rogers Communications chair Edward Rogers said “Jim was a brilliant man and a fierce competitor. He was a confident entrepreneur who had a transformative and lasting impact on the Canadian cable landscape. He will surely be missed.”

This story originally appeared in Playback