CANADA (CelebrityAccess) – Founder, executive chair and former chief executive officer of Shaw Communications, JR Shaw, has died at the age of 85.
The Canadian media titan “passed away peacefully” on Monday, the company said in a statement.
“My family and I are at a loss for words and are deeply saddened at JR’s passing,” said current CEO Brad Shaw, JR’s son, in the release.
“I spoke to JR every day about the business. He was engaged and interested in everything the company was doing – from the latest technology being rolled out to how we were meeting the needs of families across Western Canada.
“JR was the founder and leader of our company, but he was also an exceptional husband, a loving father, grandfather and great grandfather. His legacy of love and compassion for people will live on for generations,” he added.
Shaw built the Calgary-based telecommunications giant from the ground up, starting with the launch of Capital Cable Television Co. Ltd in 1966. He remained chief executive of the company he founded until 1998, at which time he passed the reins to his eldest son Jim, who took over the role until 2010 when Jim’s younger brother Brad took on the job. Jim Shaw died in 2018 following a brief illness at the age of 60.
The company also developed a radio and television broadcasting group that became what is now Corus Entertainment. More recently, Shaw ventured into the wireless sector, acquiring Wind Mobile (now Freedom Mobile) and turning it into the fourth-largest network in Canada.
Shaw, who was known as a community builder and supporter of Canadian arts, was an active philanthropist. He was named an Officer of the Order of Canada and received the Alberta Order of Excellence. He also received several honorary degrees and was named to the Canadian Business Hall of Fame in 1998.
According to the company, Brad Shaw will take over JR’s executive chairman position on an interim basis. The appointment of a new executive chairman will be confirmed at next month’s board meeting.