Bell Canada’s president of operations has jumped ship. Patrick Pichette is scheduled to join Google Inc. in August as the search engine’s senior vice-president and chief financial officer.

Google announced Thursday Pichette will report to its CEO, Eric Schmidt, starting August 1.

Pichette, a former partner with McKinsey and Company, had a “pivotal role” in negotiating new working rules for Bell’s technicians, BCE said. He joined Bell in 2001 as executive VP of planning and performance management, and later became chief financial officer. Google said Pichette has a business administration degree from the University of Quebec at Montreal, and earned his MA in philosophy, politics and economics from Oxford University, which he attended as a Rhodes Scholar.

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BCE moves on after Telus calls off merger

BCE also announced the departure of another top executive. L. Scott Thomson, the carrier’s Executive Vice-President, for corporate development and planning, is scheduled to start a new job next week as chief financial officer of Talisman Energy Inc.

BCE said Thompson has been “instrumental” in the company’s plans to be acquired by a consortium led by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan. BCE is still widely held but a plan of arrangement for a $52 billion acquisition was approved by the Supreme Court of Canada last week.


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