PHILIPSBURG–Princess Juliana International Airport (PJIA) operating company PJIAE Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Brian Mingo received no written or verbal warnings before PJIA holding company PJIAH asked him to resign in December 2020.
This is what Minister of Tourism, Economic Affairs, Transport and Telecommunication (TEATT) Ludmila de Weever told Members of Parliament (MPs) during Wednesday’s Central Committee meeting of Parliament that discussed matters related to PJIA. MPs posed numerous questions about Mingo’s resignation request during a previous meeting held on February 15.
Citing a growing lack of confidence in his leadership and delays in the reconstruction project, PJIAH requested Mingo to tender his resignation immediately in a letter on December 3, 2020. The letter warned that failure to resign voluntarily would result in the company pursuing legal termination.
This letter sparked the current controversy surrounding PJIAE’s personnel issues, which has recently included input from the World Bank.
When asked by MPs whether Mingo would stay or leave, De Weever would not confirm or deny, saying only that it is currently “an ongoing discussion.” However, she did later say that the letter PJIAH sent Mingo was “not shared with all board members of PJIAH,” indicating that some were unaware of its existence at the time.
She confirmed that a third-party evaluation of Mingo was done prior to the resignation request, but that “the issues listed [in the letter – Ed.] by the managing director of the holding [PJIAH] did not come up in the evaluation.”
Mingo has not been offered a pay-out, said De Weever. “Conditions for early separation are stipulated in the service agreement signed between PJIAE and the CEO and serve as the basis for any pay-out,” she said.
De Weever told MPs that PJIAH overstepped its boundaries in the letter’s content, specifically where it said that the Council of Ministers was not pleased with Mingo’s functioning as CEO. “PJIAH was informed that they do not have the authority to speak on behalf of the Council of Ministers and has been properly updated on this error,” she said.
According to De Weever, the airport’s bondholders are seemingly indifferent to the whole affair. “The discussion around the performance and requested dismissal by the holding board [PJIAH] has not been discussed nor has it been raised by the bondholders,” she said.
Regarding the official procedure to dismiss Mingo, De Weever said: “As per PJIAE’s articles of incorporation, [managing] directors may at all times be dismissed summarily by the general shareholders’ meeting, due to urgent reasons. in other cases, directors may at all times be dismissed by the general shareholders’ meeting, on the understanding that a decision to dismiss a director, other than upon his own request, can only be made after the director in question has been given the opportunity to defend himself before the general shareholders’ meeting.”