CEO message

Mirko Bibic

CEO, BCE Inc. and Bell Canada

CEO message

Message from our CEO

Looking back on a year of progress, looking forward to future opportunities

Bell’s purpose is to advance how Canadians connect with each other and the world.

For 144 years, we have delivered on this purpose thanks to our agility in the face of changing market dynamics and shifts in the economic and regulatory environments.

Today, we are accelerating our transformation from a traditional telco to a tech services and digital media leader. We are exploring new areas of growth and new opportunities for our customers, our communities, our shareholders and our team members.

The Bell team takes pride in delivering on our commitments – making the necessary near-term decisions to deliver for our investors, while at the same time putting in place the foundation that will position us for long-term growth.

Investing in our networks, delivering lower prices

In 2023, Bell met its target for additional homes and business locations passed by our pure fibre Internet network. And we expanded 5G and 5G+ coverage to 86% and 51% of the Canadian population, respectively.

We have accomplished all of this while providing lower prices to our customers. Over the last year, prices for wireless and Internet services fell nationally, while the overall cost of living increased.

Embracing the digital shift

Bell is embracing cutting-edge digital solutions and automation to improve our service offering while driving cost savings. We continue to give customers greater control and flexibility over how they purchase, access and make changes to their services through the award-winning MyBell App. Our self-serve Virtual Repair tool and Wi-Fi checkup has reached a milestone one million sessions.

And our acquisition of FX Innovation is supporting the transformation of Bell Business Markets and allows us to offer cloud-based services and workflow automation solutions to meet our clients’ evolving needs.

Putting customers first

Supported by our digitization efforts, Bell outperformed other national service providers in the 2022-23 Commission for Complaints for Telecom-television Services (CCTS) annual report for the eighth consecutive year with a 6% reduction in the overall share of complaints over last year.

The launch of Best Buy Express brings together Bell’s award-winning mobility and Internet offering with Best Buy’s leading consumer electronics retail expertise to deliver the best of all worlds for Canadian consumers – the latest milestone in our channel transformation strategy.

The best content, live and on-demand

Bell Media continues to deliver some of the country’s most-watched content in English and French – when, where and how Canadians want it.

2023 was the most watched year in Crave’s history. We introduced a new ad-supported tier and announced the distribution of Crave on Amazon Prime video channels.

We also signed a new long-term content pact with Warner Bros. Discovery, securing Crave’s place as the home of HBO and Max content in Canada.

Our pending acquisition of OUTFRONT Media’s Canadian operations will expand our presence in the out-of-home advertising market once the transaction closes. Meanwhile, advances in Addressable TV and Addressable Radio provide a personalized experience to viewers and more value to advertisers.

Bell Media’s transformation is a necessary step in the face of challenging advertising market conditions, unbalanced competition from foreign streaming giants and shifting consumer preferences. Our strategic shift to digital is paying off; 35% of our media revenues are now from digital, up from 14% just four years ago.

Driving community impact, building the best team

Our commitment to mental health awareness across Canada continues. On Bell Let’s Talk Day and throughout the year, we support mental health organizations providing care in their communities.

Building a safe, supportive and inclusive workplace for our team remains a priority. We offer unlimited mental health support to our team members and, this year, expanded other benefits to meet the changing needs of a modern workforce.

The road ahead

The future is not without challenges.

The Canadian and global economies are facing growing headwinds with persistent high inflation and interest rates. The CRTC decision to mandate access to Bell’s fibre network in Québec and Ontario is already having an impact on our future investment. The implementation of a new broadcasting framework is taking too long as the industry undergoes significant upheaval.

Moving forward, we will shift our focus away from over-regulated parts of our business. We have embarked upon a restructuring effort to ensure our operating model and cost structure align with customer expectations and our transformation. While this process is not an easy one, it is what we need to do to become more agile in a rapidly changing landscape.

In 2024, we will continue to invest in new areas of growth – like cloud and security services and advanced advertising. A successful transformation to a tech services and digital media leader will allow us to remain competitive, deliver solid financial results and position us for sustained growth moving forward. This is where our focus is and where it will remain.

On behalf of the Bell team, thank you to our customers and shareholders. Our success is nothing without your support.

Mirko Bibic
President and Chief Executive Officer BCE Inc. and Bell Canada
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