Friday, August 22, 2008

C&W Caribbean marshals senior team - Appoints vice-chairman

Published: Friday August 22, 2008

Cable & Wireless Caribbean, based in Barbados, has appointed five new senior executives and retained two others who now form chief executive officer Richard Dodd's team, one of whom will also hold a seat on the company's board.

All seven, who come to their posts with experience in different countries, have the titles of executive vice-president (EVP).

"These appointments reflect the placement in key positions of experienced managers who have demonstrated high levels of competence based on extensive exposure around the world," said C&W Caribbean in a statement.

But Donald Austin, a Barbadian, alongside his responsibilities for corporate and regulatory affairs and head of operations in Barbados, has also been tapped as vice-chairman, second to Jamaica's Phil Green, who chairs C&W Caribbean.

Austin as EVP is answerable to Dodd, but his board position muddies the reporting relationship and puts a question mark on his actual standing in the company's pecking order, which C&W Caribbean up to press time had not clarified.

Top man

The same situation prevails with Green who as head of national subsidiary Jamaica, should have been answerable to Barbados, but is the top man in charge as chairman and as a board member of C&W International under whose portfolio the Caribbean falls.

Dominican Ian Blanchard, a former chief executive of the Grenadian operation but whose track record of experience is boosted by postings in the United States and the Middle East, is the new EVP transformation.

Jamaican Lawrence McNaughton, who has worked with Cable and Wireless and since March 2008 has been chairman of C&W St Kitts, is EVP carrier services and international facilities, while Marsha Lewis retains the portfolio of human resources.

McNaughton and Lewis were among the original team members at C&W Caribbean, a company that is months old and the hub of the telecom's transformation into a pan-Caribbean operation, spanning 13 markets.

Jesus Luzardo, who whose two decades in the business has taken him to places in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, is new EVP enterprise sales, Mariano Doble is EVP commercial.

C&W Caribbean's seventh pick is Tom Hatfield, whose job will include hunting down merger and acquisition (M&A) prospects. Green in a May interview with this newspaper had said that an important part of the telecom's growth strategy going forward is M&As that can add value to the company.

The telecom, following its loss of monopoly status throughout the region, starting in Jamaica at the turn of the decade, is now playing catch up to rivals, whose aggressive hunt for market share has caught Cable and Wireless off guard.

Its biggest headache, Digicel, has partially used that strategy to grow its customer base to six million mobile users, while C&W has five million regionwide.

Hatfield, who has global experience but is relatively new to the C&W, landing that job in 2005, joins the Caribbean office as EVP strategy and business development.

"His main mission will be leading the drive in content strategy with responsibility for merger and acquisitions," said C&W Caribbean.

Source: Jamaica Gleaner

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