Selection of new GuySuCo CEO should have been board’s decision

-Chand

Guyana Agricultural and General Workers Union (GAWU) President Komal Chand has criticised the government for the selection and appointment of Dr. Harold Davis Jnr as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Guyana Sugar Corporation (GuySuCo), saying that the decision should have been made by the still-to-be-named board.

“The government appointed the CEO but there is no board in place. Normally, you would have a board and those appointments would be done through the board. That is the normal practice but it is different here,” Chand told Stabroek News yesterday.

Minister of State Joseph Harmon on Monday announced the appointment and said that a new board of directors should be in place by the middle of next week.

Stabroek News understands that Dr. Davis’ appointment was proposed by Minister of Agriculture Noel Holder and sanctioned by Cabinet even as a new board is currently being assembled.

Davis was up until earlier this year GuySuCo’s Director of Agricultural Services. He was appointed sometime last week. He is replacing Paul Bhim, who had been appointed temporary CEO. Davis’ father, Harold Davis, was a long-serving Chairman of GuySuCo.

Chand said that he served GuySuCo well for many years and is an agricultural specialist.

Harmon told reporters that Davis was scheduled to begin work from Monday. He disclosed that the consideration for a board for the entity is “well advanced” and by the end of the week or very early next week, “we will have the announcement of a board of directors for GuySuCo.”

The life of the last board came to an end on the last day of April and government was to have started the process to identify candidates to form a new one.

There was confusion in March after it was advertised that Colvin Heath-London, who heads the Special Purpose Unit (SPU) overseeing the divestment of some of GuySuCo’s assets, was the new Chairman of the GuySuCo Board. The directors were identified as Komal Singh, Verna Adrian, Fritz Mc Lean, Rosh Khan, George Jervis, Arianne McLean, Vishnu Panday, and Annette Arjoon.

However, Minister of Finance Winston Jordan later clarified that Professor Clive Thomas remained the board Chairman as Cabinet had deferred a decision on a replacement. Cabinet documents appointing Heath-London and a new board had been sent out without approval of the full Cabinet and the appointments were subsequently recalled.  

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