Toronto’s 50 Most Influential: #7, George Cope
President and CEO, BCE
7With Guy Laurence out the door at Rogers, Cope is the undisputed king of Canadian telecommunications. Bell Canada Enterprises is everywhere, with stakes in TV (30 conventional and 30 specialty channels, plus Crave), sports (partial ownership of the Raptors, Leafs and Argos), radio (105 stations), wireless (the country’s largest 4G network) and retail (the Source). Bell’s advertising wing, Astral, recently won the exclusive ad rights for Pearson Airport, which has 41 million passengers a year. Cope’s Bell Let’s Talk Day raised $6.3 million in 2016 and had supporters such as Justin Bieber and Prince William.
Friends in high places:
Cope and Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment chair Larry Tanenbaum sit shoulder to shoulder in courtside seats at Raptors games.