Jamaican tipped to be GPL CEO due for talks

Having been shortlisted to fill the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Guyana Power and Light Company, a former head of the Jamaica Public Service Company will this week be in the country to negotiate terms of a contract and possible acceptance of the post.

Sources close to the process told Stabroek News that the man is likely to accept the post but wants first to discuss remuneration and terms of the contract.

Chairman of GPL Robert Badal earlier this month wrote in a letter to this newspaper, that all executive posts at the utility company have been filled and “a CEO will soon be on board”.

According to sources, the shortlisted candidate is expected to be in Guyana later this week to have discussions with the board before deciding if he will accept. “So far it looks good and following the due diligence process it shows that he comes with a wealth of experience and has integrity,” one source said.  “But we can’t name him just yet because the man has not yet accepted the post,” the source added.

Around June of this year government had to turn to professional services company PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) to re-advertise the vacancy after its sloth in approving a candidate to be the CEO saw the shortlisted person taking on other employment.

“We had one person before but by the time we got a feedback from the government, the guy was already gone. You know these things—those people don’t stay around,” GPL’s Board Chairman had said when asked by Stabroek News for an update on filling the vacancy.

GPL has been without a substantive CEO since last year February, when then CEO Colin Welch was fired, following the installation of a new board.

Badal had explained that since Welch’s sacking, the company had advertised the vacancy and had even gone through shortlisting and provided government with a recommendation of a potential candidate. But while government gave the go ahead to hire the individual, it was too late as the person was no longer interested in the position.

He said that in June the company solicited the services of PwC to take over the advertisement and selection process.

“We are disappointed as well that we could not fill that position. We have filled all the executive positions so far. After the elections [in 2015], we had so many positions and we have filled all those positions, locally. But the CEO position—we have not been able to attract the right candidate so far,” he stated.

“We have put it back out to the market, using [PwC], which has international reach and clientele. We put it back for them to assist us using their international reach and expertise in that area,” he added.

It is from that process that the Jamaican manager was selected.

Badal had also explained that once a CEO is selected by the Board, Cabinet would then have to approve the hiring.

He had said that he wanted the process to be completed by the end of August but sources said that should the Jamaican selectee accept, it is anticipated that he would commence work, “Early in the new year”.

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