~ Could not advise on CFO as info not provided ~
PHILIPSBURG–The Corporate Governance Council (CGC) had said it had “some reservations” regarding the appointment of Sharine Daniel as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the management board of utilities company GEBE, and said it could not issue a proper advice regarding the appointment of George Willems as Chief Financial Officer (CFO) as certain information was not provided.
Robert-Jan James (CEO) and Randell Hato (CFO) were original candidates for positions on the Managing Board, but both of them had withdrawn as candidates.
Merrill Temmer is proposed for the post of Chief Operations Officer (COO).
Government has already decided on the final appointments to the managing board.
CGC provided its advice regarding the intended appointments to the managing board to Minister of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI Egbert Doran dated April 21, 2021, and booked on May 5, 2021. Doran motivated his intention to appoint Daniel as CEO and Willems as CFO in a request letter on March 18, 2021.
Doran’s motivation was based on Daniel and Willems acquiring the second highest scores conferred in the recruitment report of Ernst and Young (E&Y) following the withdrawal of James and Hato, both of whom scored the highest.
In its advice and conclusions, CGC said it recognises the vast experience and knowledge that Daniel has of GEBE, but said based on the conclusions of the E&Y Recruitment and Selection Management Board report, “the CGC therefore has some reservations to the appointment of Ms. Sharine Daniel as the CEO of N.V. GEBE Management Board given the issues raised in the E&Y report.”
The CGC said its reservations are strengthened by the outcome of Daniel’s tenure as interim CEO of GEBE a short while ago and it was interested in knowing whether any of E&Y’s recommendations in the Recruitment Report pertaining to Daniel had been put into place.
“It would be important to know if there were any structural training development plans devised for Ms. Sharine Daniel to assist her in improving her communication and leadership skills during the interim period.”
In its report, E&Y said based on interviews and assessment, it concluded that Daniel has relevant leadership qualities and sufficient confidence to fill the position of CEO, but it said there were few attention points that should be considered and/or addressed.
“First, the known interpersonal challenges with the current board and other possible colleagues should be addressed urgently,” E&Y said in its report. “N.V. GEBE needs a leader that is able to bring all parties together in order to solidify the company and be prepared for the future.
“The strong personality and communication style of Ms. Daniel is a matter that should be considered. Despite the fact that NV GEBE requires a CEO with a strong personality, E&Y finds that a proper balance should be found between a solid leadership style and proper communication style. The CEO should have the right combination of democracy, people skills and decisiveness.
“E&Y concludes that based on these findings, Ms. Daniel would benefit from further development to reach the proper balance between these skills.”
As it relates to CFO candidate George Willems, CGC said it had not received any response to its letter dated March 29, 2021, requesting additional information regarding resolution on the binding nomination of Willems, whose resumé and employment background record him currently occupying roles as Senior Financial and Project Management at AB Consultancy and several years of experience as Financial Director at General Pension Fund administrator APS.
In accordance with article 9 paragraph sub 2 of the National Ordinance Corporate Governance CGC is required to advise whether the proposed appointment is in conformity with the articles of incorporation of GEBE, the applicable laws and procedural rules and profiles as mentioned in article 8 of the Ordinance Corporate Governance and the Corporate Governance Code.
CGC said that based on a review of Willems’ employment and educational background along with the results from the E&Y Recruitment and Selection Management Board report, it is unable to issue a proper advice on his appointment to the GEBE Management Board as CFO, due to not receiving a binding nomination from the Supervisory board according to Article 7.2 of the Articles of Incorporation (AOI).
“The CGC’s advice to the appointment of Mr. M. Temmer in the position of COO remains unedited as stated in our advice of September 28, 2020, DIV #10844. Furthermore, we advise the minister to, prior to finalising the appointments, ensure that there are no conflicts of interest as indicated in Chapter 3 sub 8 of the Corporate Governance Code and that proper background checks are performed to satisfy any integrity concerns as it relates to all of the proposed candidates,” CGC said.