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From Page A1
"At the level of the board it is
more policy and strategy, because
they do not get involved in the oper-
ational details of managing a com-
pany," he said.
"To that extent, the critical issue
is to ensure that you have the man-
agement to ensure that you achieve
the objectives set out by an organ-
isation and those are some challenges
that we had. We have to take that
in stride and move forward."
Admitting the former board faced
a number of corporate governance
issues, Howai said: "The attorney
on the (new) board is very strong in
the area of corporate governance.
"I made the point very clear to
the new board that I expect them
to adhere to the strictest guidelines
as far as corporate governance is
He said he was forced to act
quickly on the old board after issues
of corporate governance came to
"It certainly was an issue that
became a matter of serious concern,"
"It is a matter we have been mon-
itoring and looking at the whole
financial situation of the company.
As things begin to add up, you have
to continue and react as soon as
Copies of the State Enterprise Per-
formance Monitoring Manual, Howai
said, would be provided to all new
board members to ensure all deci-
sions are within the set guidelines.
Howai said the new board was
not at a disadvantage although it did
not have an aviation expert.
"We will be able to outsource that
skill and would be able to bring indi-
viduals in who have that technical
competence," he said.
"I should add that Mr Lalor has
a reasonably good background and
understanding of the airline industry,
which will be helpful."
The appointment of a CEO was
also high on the agenda of the new
board, Howai said.
Speaking briefly yesterday, Mar-
shall, the current director of the
Strategic Management Office at the
Finance Ministry and former deputy
chairman of Ernst & Young, only
said: "CAL is a Caribbean organi-
sation and there are many stake-
holders whose interest have to be
balanced and dealt with in the very
competitive challenging time."
Assuring Howai he would not be
disappointed, Marshall said: "I wish
to assure you that both the board
and myself, we will serve the com-
pany with the best of our ability
because the corporation is primary
in this aspect.
"You can rest assured that every
aspect of the challenge and mandate
that faces us will be accomplished
in good sense and in the shortest
time possible," he added.
The sacked Caribbean Airlines
board had planned to make certain
management changes because they
believed the airline s current man-
agement is not capable of taking
its restructuring plan to fruition,
former chairman Rabindra Moonan
He said he recommended to
Finance Minister Larry Howai yes-
terday that the changes be made.
Moonan and former board mem-
ber Venosh Sagewan-Maharaj spoke
to the T&T Guardian after the former
board s last meeting with Howai.
The 45-minute meeting took place
at the Finance Complex, Port-of-
Spain, from 10.30 am. Howai sub-
sequently held a media briefing
where he announced the change of
Only four of the six outgoing CAL
board members met with Howai:
Moonan, Sagewan-Maharaj, Gizelle
Russell and Avedanand Persad.
Absent were vice-chairman Mohan
Jaikaran and Air Jamaica represen-
tative Dennis Lalor.
Moonan said Jaikaran is in New
York under treatment for health
problems. Lalor was the Jamaican
government s appointee on the
Sagewan-Maharaj said his term
had expired since last year and he
had expected to be changed. He said
he supported Moonan s statements.
Moonan, who was appointed
chairman in April 2012, replacing
George Nicholas III, said Howai had
asked him to assist the new board
after Moonan noted the restructuring
plan devised by the former board
had already yielded results.
On the change, Moonan said: "I
want to share the sentiments the
minister expressed to us; that the
board under my stewardship had
become a target for a lot of attention,
not only by media but other com-
mentators, and it started to prove to
be a distraction, not only for the
board but also for the company.
"It also impacted on the work of
the ministry and the Government,
since there had to be an almost daily
defence on issues which, as far as
we were concerned, in our analysis,
were very trivial issues," he said.
"I concur and agreed with Min-
ister Howai we should remove that
target and appoint a new board,
which I ll support."
He said he had given Howai the
former board s reasons why changes
were necessary to CAL manage-
ment---changes the board was about
to make when it was replaced.
Moonan said: "We recommended
to him certain changes and who
should be replaced. He took note of
it---no, I won t reveal who, but I
believe changes are necessary, and
Asked if the current management
was up to taking the restructuring
plan successfully to fruition, Moonan
gave a firm and immediate: "No."
Asked about the New York
ticket/Jaikaran issue, both Moonan
and Sagewan-Maharaj said it was
"blown out of proportion."
Asked if the board provided the
extra information on the ticket issue
which Howai requested, Moonan
said all the information was sub-
"I cannot comment on how they
analysed it," he said.
Moonan said the ticket issue was
never a board issue. He said spon-
sorships were generally dealt with
at marketing, communications or
On CAL s restructuring plan,
which his board devised, Moonan
said it had already taken effect. He
said the board initially projected a
US$12 million loss for 2013, going
from a US$69.9 million loss for 2012,
and a break-even position was pro-
jected for 2014.
He said CAL s annual turnover
was close to US$500 million. CAL
lost close to $800 million last year.
Change CAL managers too
Moonan's parting advice to Howai:
New board ready to serve country
New CAL chairman Philip Marshall is congratulated by Finance Minister
Larry Howai who introduced him to the media at a news conference in his
twin towers, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ
Phillip Marshall (director of Strategic
Management Office at Finance
Vishnu Dhanpaul (permanent
secretary at Ministry of Energy)
Indira Ramkissoon (attorney, current
board member Occupational Safety
and Health Authority)
Courtney McNish (human resource
Patricia Kong-Ting (finance and risk
Dennis Lalor (Jamaican
NEW CAL BOARD
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