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Comments by Liberty chief executive inappropriate, notes former BTC CEO

Former chief executive officer of the Bahamas Telecommunications Company (BTC) Leon Williams condemned as inappropriate recent comments made by Liberty Latin America’s Chief Executive Officer Balan Nair during a recent Liberty Global town hall meeting in Jamaica, where Balan criticized the performance of BTC’s employees, saying the difference between the performances of The Bahamas and Jamaica are like “night and day”.

Williams contended that it is unfair to compare two different cultures and how they operate in business. Williams explained that Nair’s comments could serve to hurt the performance of BTC even further. Nair said in the town hall meeting in Jamaica last week that BTC is one of Liberty Latin America’s lowest-performing subsidiaries.

“You can’t make those kinds of comments about the staff and expect to grow,” said Williams.

Nair also suggested that the attitudes of BTC’s workers need to be adjusted in order for the company to once again become successful.

“We were just in The Bahamas on Monday and Tuesday and it’s like a night and day difference. My biggest wish is that one day they would say ‘we can be like Jamaica, we can do what they have done in this country,’” Nair said.

“The people in The Bahamas are no different from the people in Jamaica; it’s all about attitude. If you feel like you can win, you will win.”

While Nair said he expects BTC to become a better performing operation in the future, he explained that it will be a “slightly longer project”.

But Williams said when he exited the company as its chief executive officer two years ago, the morale and engagement of BTC’s staff was high despite its new competitive environment after the introduction of Aliv in the mobile market.

Williams also said BTC was competing against other fixed-line operators and illegal operations for years while remaining profitable.

He added that today, Bahamians cannot be blamed for the failures at BTC, explaining that in 2017 the company was being run by Bahamians and was competitive.

“You can’t afford to continue to let go your talent, import talent and then blame Bahamians,” said Williams.

Senior Business Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Chester Robards rejoined The Nassau Guardian in November 2017 as a senior business reporter. He has covered myriad topics and events for The Nassau Guardian.
Education: Florida International University, BS in Journalism
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