Canedo White's exit from the No. 2 position at the Spanish-speaking world's largest media empire follows rumors of a power struggle inside the company since the death in April of former Televisa Chairman Emilio Azcarraga Milmo.
The return to Televisa in June of Alejandro Burillo Azcarraga, Azcarraga Milmo's nephew and Canedo White's rival, after more than a year's absence, is seen as the catalyst for the boardroom tussle in which Canedo White and his brother Jose Antonio were predicted to fall victim. Burillo Azcarraga and Canedo White are known to have had many long- standing differences.
Canedo White had been with Televisa for six years, and was very popular with investors. "At this time, however, I feel that it is best for me to move on and pursue other interests," he said in a statement released by the company July 21.
"We are grateful for the contributions Guillermo made to Grupo Televisa," said Chairman, President and CEO Emilio Azcarraga Jean, Azcarraga Milmo's son, in the Televisa statement. "He was part of the team that helped guide the company through the worst crisis in Mexico's recent history."
Canedo White told a leading Mexico City daily newspaper, Reforma, that he and his brother Jose Antonio will sell their shares in the holding company that unites Televisa's investor families to Azcarraga Jean.
With their 10.2% stake, in addition to the shares left to him by his father - as reported by a news magazine here - Azcarraga Jean will consolidate his position as the majority shareholder in Televisa, analysts say. Televisa has yet to make public the contents of Azcarraga Milmo's will.
In his interview with Reforma, Canedo White acknowledged that things at Televisa were not working out as envisioned by Azcarraga Milmo, who in March had promoted Canedo White to a more senior position.
Televisa said it will continue to search for a new chief financial officer but that in the interim Raul Lopez Martinez will serve as acting CFO. Jose Antonio Canedo White, and another brother, Pablo, are believed to be out of Televisa as well, but their resignations have yet to be confirmed.
Copyright July 1997, Crain Communications Inc.