PHILIPSBURG:— A group called themselves bond holders in an email to SMN News said they conducted a survey of the company now that the company is going through the process of appointing a CEO. Below is the full analysis sent to SMN News as their findings at the Government owned company and the appointment of a CEO.
St. Maarten Telecommunication Operating Company – SMOTC better known as Telem group, the government-owned company is the leading provider of telecommunications services in Sint Maarten. Despite being a leader in the field Telem has lacked a CEO for more than 10 years. Currently the company is being guided by a management team chaired by the CFO: Ms. Helma Etnel, a Suriname-national.
She was appointed by the supervisory board originally chaired by Mr. Rafael Boasman, and now chaired by Mr. Jairo Bloem who has finally initiated the CEO recruitment process.
In 1998, the telecommunications market was liberalized, but Telem has not had the opportunity to seize any of the benefits from this. It entered the market competing against already established players in the industry such as Antelecom—formerly Landsradio—and ECC which was the first mobile operator on Saint Martin. Rather than entering a green field market, Telem entered a market where other regional telecommunications companies had 5 to 8 years of monopoly in order to mature.
Telem only became an autonomous company with its own managing director and staff due to the catastrophic hurricane Luis in 1995. The hurricane caused chaos with widespread service outages and service disruptions. The first managing director without any supervision from Curacao was Mr. Curtis Haynes who developed Telem’s internet, mobile and international services. Since his dismissal 10 years ago the company has been without a CEO.
Management of the company has not been selected on merit, but favoritism and political connections. One of the previous CEOs, former Lt. Governor and Minister of Justice Dennis Richardson, who was implicated in, but ultimately acquitted of involvement in the Maho in-room television scandal that caused over one million dollars’ worth of damage to the company and never launched due to implementation failures. Dennis Richardson allegedly traveled recreationally using company money with an employee with whom he is alleged to have had a relationship. After all this melodrama and scandal a temporary CEO, Paul Marshall, was appointed but he failed to create any meaningful movement in the right direction for the company.
A few years ago, a specialist from the Netherlands, Peter Drenth, was brought in, and to his credit he revitalized a stagnant company. Unfortunately, Mr. Drenth’s contract was not extended since he felt the best course of action was for the government to sell the company. The situation has devolved into today’s dreadful state of affairs whereby:
-Home internet customers are confronted with a plethora of problems on a daily basis, ranging from poor connection, slow speeds to some of the highest service-costs in the region. This is compounded by subpar customer care as the company has proven itself unable to adequately address service outages. Not to mention Telem’s inability to meet the demands of thousands of new customers. Telem fails to provide internet coverage in certain areas due to number and line deficiencies.
-Telem’s cellular coverage is plagued by dropped calls, slow mobile internet—the competition UTS introduced LTE last year—as well as expensive local and roaming rates.
Telem has failed to live up to its mission statement as portrayed in their stores: “to be the best service provider in Sint Maarten with the best technology!” Telem has not been able to deliver a consistent, affordable product. St.Maarten is a top Caribbean destination with great economic potential, St.Maarten, and it deserves first class service from a publically owned company.
Appointment – CEO
Appointment – CEO
Since the appointment of a new chairmen -after Mr. R. Boasman left for a short lived political career- the newly appointed chairmen Mr. J. Bloem correctly has rightfully decided commencing the process to appoint a much needed CEO. Any good company needs a captain, one who takes the calculated business risks to advance the company. This was agreed by the other members of the supervisory board: Kendal Dupersoy, Paul Marshall and Steven Constance.
Following the decision, the board of Directors concluded several weeks ago on a selection and appointment process with 4 (four)
potential candidates: Ms. Helma Etnel (CFO Telem Group), Mr. Brian Mingo (CCO Telem Group), Mr. EldertLouisa (CTO Telem Group) and Mr. Kendal Dupersoy – who is also a member of the supervisory board of
Directors and directly politically affiliated to the National Alliance.
Thesituation raises a few major concerns;
In most if not all developed countries, the ethic law prohibits member of a Board from;
a. Seeking or soliciting employment from a public agency while still a member of the agency’s board;
b. Using his position as a board member, in any way, to create or secure an employment opportunity for himself; and
c. Profiting from an employment position that was authorized by the board while he was a member.
To apply this to the current situation in Telem; An appointed government official –who is friends with the sitting Prime Minister, secures his own future with a dream job and the corresponding salary. According to Harvard Business Review, a subsidiary of Harvard University, “the most important leadership competencies A CEO needs to have is a high ethical and moral standard.” Keeping all of the above in mind, one wonders whether Mr. Dupersoy indeed possesses this competency.
Furthermore, common sense dictates that the new CEO of Telem Group should at least have past executive experience in a similar role, a proven track record of leading a technology driven company with 100+ staff members. The next CEO of Telem will have to be the one to define the strategy and direction, model and setting the complicated company’s culture, building and leading the senior executive team and allocate capital to the company’s priorities. Today, Mr. Dupersoy is an IT manager with 5 staff members at the airport…the hard questions truly present themselves.
Telem to appoint a new CEO!
As Telem is now entering the final stages of the selection process for a new CEO, the final two candidates are:
Mr. Brian Mingo (CCO – Telem)
Mr. Kendal Dupersoy (IT Manager PJIA)
A new CEO of one of the most important job provider on Sint Maarten will be required to secure jobs, improve the results and create a company loved by the public and businesses for its excellent service.
The selection process for CEO is mysterious, since Mr. K. Dupersoy outscored two seasoned and experienced executives now holding Chief positions at Telem. Now we do know that Kendal Dupersoy made such an impression during the interview that his, limited experience in a executive position, and limited business back ground outscored the other two executives Ms. H. Etnel (CFO TelEM) and Mr. E. Lousia (CTO TelEM) who all have academic degrees. Mr. Dupersoy as per his LinkedIn has a College degree..
However, When we look at the Necessary experiences and skill sets of both candidates Mr.
Mingo and Mr. Dupersoy in comparison we come to the conclusion that Mr. Dupersoy only skill
is his friendship with the Prime minister.
As an interest group of bond holders, we have conducted an independent due-diligence research concerning both candidates and have come to the following conclusions:
• Telem is facing challenges:
Today in St. Maarten, Home internet customers are confronted with a plethora of problems on a daily basis, ranging from poor connection, slow speeds to some of the highest service-costs in the region. This is compounded by subpar customer care as the company has proven itself unable to adequately address service outages. Not to mention Telem’s inability to meet the demands of thousands of new customers due to no line availability.
-Telcell cellular coverage is plagued by dropped calls, slow mobile internet—the competitor Chippie introduced LTE last year – as well as expensive local and roaming rates.
In conclusion, Telem has failed to live up to its mission statement: “to be the best service provider in Sint Maarten with the best technology!”
Telem up till now is not able to deliver a consistent quality product of internet or mobile affordable to everyone. Rather than being an engine of growth, Telem is not helping to progress Sint Maarten’s economy.
• The appointed CEO in a position of a $50 million Telecom company, will need to face these challenges. The minimal requirement for such a position, based on Harvard’s business school definition are presented in the following chart. According to the research we have conducted through Linkedin and interviews , it is abundantly clear that only one of the final candidates possess the skills required:
|Telecom CEO position requires|
|10-15 years Telecom experience||17 years in project management in the field||None relevant. Past position at the airport and the phone company|
|Equal Senior management position (MD, GM or CEO)||Currently CCO, previously GM||Manager is the highest position held|
|Bachelor Degree / Preferred MBA in Business admin and or Engineering)||Master’s degree from Montfort university, engineering diploma||No academic titles|
|Strong and proven Contacts with corporate and civil clients.||Managing the product and marketing teams in Telem||Contact with management only as board member. Software management previously|
|Capable of showing evidence of developing business in a competitive market||Product development, Distribution strategy, sales monitoring, in Telem are his responsibility||No relevant experience|
|Hands-on CEO with an entrepreneurial spirit||creating/capitalizing on opportunities/campaigns, liaisons and business tie ups, while negotiating/managing complex negotiations and strategic partnerships part of the job description||No relevant experiance|
|Good knowledge of the sales environment (sell in- sell out) in the Telecom service business; understands operator business model and negotiation environment.||creating/capitalizing on opportunities/campaigns, liaisons and business tie ups, while negotiating/managing complex negotiations and strategic partnerships with other organizations all part of the responsibilities .||No previous telecom experience|
|Driving revenue and cross functional projects||Yes||Unknown|
|Proven track record of owning and growing a $20+ million budget||Current budget in Telem is $50 million||No relevant management experience that includes budget handling|
|Leading, Developing and coaching teams across different functions||Managing the analytical team, marketing team and customer-care team in Telem||No experience in team managing|
|You should have a successful track record of driving revenue through advertisers leading, developing and mentoring successful teams||Proven due to results within TelEm||No previous experience|
|strong relationships with Mobile roaming carrier||Solid ties with top business partners||No relevant previous experience|
|Accountable for the market P & L and delivering the financial objectives as determined by the declared budget.||Distribution strategy, sales monitoring, channel management and distribution expansion are also on the responsibility list.||No relevant managerial experience|
|Leadership and management of a multi-disciplinary team that promotes the interests of the business so Company is best represented in the Country market and targets are achieved.||Proven track record||no|
|Record of success in meeting stretching sales and revenue targets.||Proven track record||no|
|Proven and demonstrated strategic and operational experience and expertise in a telecommunications environment.||Current position in Telem includes: Overall comprehensive marketing strategy covering all the aspects of the company commercial operations, including positioning and product development, pricing and promotions, branding and marketing communication plan, distribution and customer care policies. Product development and pricing function covers telecom core business areas||Supervisory position only. No relevant managerial experience|
|The ability to organize and manage multiple priorities with a proven track record of success in meeting aggressive sales and revenue targets.||Currently Managing the product team, working both for corporate and individual client markets. Product development also includes non-core additional product options, viewed as alternative and/or additional company income sources.||Soft- ware managerial experience only|
And so, the conclusion is self-explanatory. Kendell will be an asset to the Prime minister who can use him as a ‘string-pulling’ representative in the company.
When it comes to possessing actual relevant skills to perform the job required from the CEO of the leading telecom company in St. Maarten, only one of the two answers all of the criteria.
Source: St. Martin News Network
The Sorry State of Telem Group — Bond Holders conducts Survey now that the company seeking to appoint its CEO.