Charles Fleetford Sise

Charles Fleetford Sise, businessman (b at Portsmouth, NH 27 Sept 1834; d at Montréal 9 Apr 1918). Before coming to Canada, Sise had careers as a sea captain, as owner of shipping businesses and as an insurance executive. In 1880 he was appointed special agent in Canada of the National Bell Telephone Co of Boston, Mass, and promptly organized its Canadian subsidiary: The Bell Telephone Company of Canada. He became VP in 1880 and was its second president 1890-1915. Sise directed Bell's emergence into a powerful business entity, molding its very structure: he oversaw its victorious battles with independent telephone companies, its sale of territory in the Maritimes (1887-89) and on the Prairies (1908-09), and its incorporation of an equipment manufacturing subsidiary in 1895 (today known as Northern Telecom). Perhaps most importantly, he defended the company before the 1905 parliamentary Select Committee on Telephone Systems, chaired by Sir William MULOCK, deflecting popular and political agitation for nationalization of Bell into regulatory supervision by the Board of Railway Commissioners for Canada.