President & CEO, TELUS
Darren Entwistle joined TELUS in 2000 as President and CEO, and is the longest-serving CEO in the telecommunications industry. Under Darren’s leadership, TELUS has evolved from a regional telephone company serving Western Canada into a national communications and information technology leader. Since 2000, TELUS has generated a total shareholder return of 639 per cent. This is number one in the world amongst TELUS’ telecom incumbent peers and double the return for the S&P/TSX of 316 per cent. Impressively, TELUS’ total shareholder return has surpassed the TSX every year over the course of the past one, three, five, ten, 15, and 20 years by an average of 101 per cent. In addition, throughout the past 21 years, TELUS’ enterprise value has quintupled to $57.1 billion and EBITDA has more than doubled to $5.9 billion. During this same timeframe, the TELUS brand has increased in value from a few hundred million dollars to $9 billion today, ranked as Canada’s strongest telco brand according to Brand Finance, and also earned recognition as the most trusted brand by the Gustavson School of Business.
Darren believes passionately that TELUS’ greatest asset is the nearly 100,000 talented individuals in 25 countries around the globe who comprise the TELUS team. In this regard, TELUS is consistently recognized for its global leadership in respect of team engagement and has been ranked number one in the world for a company of its size and composition according to third-party surveyor, Kincentric. This incredible level of engagement led to TELUS being the first organization ever to be inducted into the BEST of the Best Hall of Fame by the Association for Talent Development in acknowledgement of its global excellence in learning and development. Moreover, TELUS was named one of Canada’s Top 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures by Waterstone Human Capital for three consecutive three-year award timeframes, and earned the distinction of being the sixth company ever inducted into their 10 Most Admired Corporate Cultures Hall of Fame. In addition, TELUS was recognized as Canada’s leading global workplace by Forbes World’s Best Employers 2020, ranking first in Canada and 40th globally, amongst 750 leading worldwide brands.
The world-leading culture within TELUS empowers team members to deliver on the top corporate priority of providing the best client experience in the industry as measured by customers’ likelihood to recommend TELUS products and services. The team’s efforts have been lauded by consumers who have ranked Koodo the highest of all Canadian wireless carriers for three years in the J.D. Power Wireless Customer Care Satisfaction survey and also gave TELUS top marks in the Canadian Wireless Network Quality Study. This commitment to putting customers first underscores the TELUS team’s long-standing dedication to providing Canadians with the speed, reliability and coverage to help them live better lives and remain connected to what matters most. As a result, TELUS is consistently recognized for global leadership in broadband network excellence from independent, third-party organizations, including UK-based Opensignal, Canada-based Tutela, and as well, from U.S.-based Ookla, J.D. Power and PCMag. In addition, TELUS has an 11-year track record of receiving the fewest complaints of any Canadian national telecommunications provider, by a wide margin, as recorded by the Commissioner for Complaints for Telecom-television Services.
At the heart of TELUS’ culture is a deeply rooted belief in the symbiotic relationship between business success and the welfare of our communities. Since 2000, TELUS and its team members have gifted $1.3 billion in value, including 1.6 million days of volunteerism in local communities, helping millions of citizens in need. This heartfelt commitment was recognized in 2010 when TELUS became the first Canadian company to be named the Most Outstanding Philanthropic Corporation globally by the Association of Fundraising Professionals. In 2012, the team’s passion for giving back was honoured once again with an inaugural Prime Minister’s Volunteer Award; in 2018, TELUS earned the Business as a Force for Good Award in the category of Corporate Social Responsibility from the INSEAD National Alumni Association of Canada; and in 2020, the Wall Street Journal ranked TELUS 29th in their 100 Most Sustainably Managed Companies in the World report, and 15th, globally, in the subcategory of social capitalism – TELUS was the only telecommunications company and one of only three Canadian companies named to the list. Moreover, reflecting TELUS’ leadership in responsible corporate citizenship, the company’s sustainability practices continue to earn consistent global recognition. Notably, TELUS has been listed on the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index for five consecutive years, and the North America Index for 20 years in a row – a feat unequalled by any of TELUS’ North American peers.
In recognition of Darren’s exemplary contributions to the community and to Canada as a whole, in 2018, he was appointed to the Order of Canada. Similarly, in 2003 he was awarded the Queen Elizabeth II Golden Jubilee Medal and in 2012 he received the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal. Darren earned recognition as CEO Achiever, Champion of the Year by CEO World Awards, named the Most Admired CEO by Waterstone Human Capital in 2017, received the President’s Award from the Institute for Performance and Development in 2015, and presented with the inaugural Innovator of the Year award from the Ontario Science Centre in 2012 in honour of his contributions to innovation in science. Darren is also the recipient of the 2011 Canadian Business Leader of the Year Award from the University of Alberta; the 2011 Champion of Public Education Award from The Learning Partnership; and the 2011 T. Patrick Boyle Founders Award by the Fraser Institute for outstanding leadership in business and philanthropy. On a worldwide basis, Darren was recognized with the CEO Leadership in Action Award from Diversity Journal in 2011 and the National Philanthropy Business Leader of the Year Award in 2010 from the David Foster Foundation.
Darren has a Bachelor of Economics (Honours) degree from Concordia University, an MBA in Finance from McGill University and a diploma in Network Engineering from the University of Toronto. He has received honorary Doctorates of Law from McGill University, Concordia University, the University of Alberta and the University of Victoria. Darren also holds an honorary Bachelor in Business Administration from the Northern Alberta Institute of Technology and is an Honorary Fellow of The Royal Conservatory in Toronto.
Reflecting Darren’s belief that diversity creates a whole that is far greater than the sum of its parts, TELUS is a signatory of the Catalyst Accord mandating an increase in the overall proportion of Canadian Financial Post 500 board seats held by women. In 2020, TELUS also signed the Pledge, created through the BlackNorth Initiative, committing to help end anti-Black systemic racism. Darren is a founding member of The 30% Club in Canada, a founding member of the Canadian Board Diversity Council, a vocal proponent of their Diversity 50 initiative, as well as a signatory of both the Ontario Securities Commission’s Staff Consultation Paper regarding Women on Boards, and the B.C. Minerva Pledge. Darren’s past directorships include: George Weston Ltd., the Business Council of Canada, TD Bank Financial Group, McGill University Board of Governors and Bell Cablemedia Plc in the United Kingdom.