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Sunday 20 October 2019
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Letters to the Editor

The TTL firing imbroglio

THE EDITOR: I am perplexed by the imbroglio within the board of Tourism Trinidad Ltd (TTL) which is in the public domain and does not augur well for the future of tourism.

Ms Penny Commissiong, TTL's chair, is being taken to task - according to newspaper reports - by fellow board member Solange DeSouza-Ransome regarding the firing of CEO Camille Campbell. Up to now, Ms Commissiong has not responded in public.

Without knowing all the facts, it's impossible to conclude who was right and who was wrong in this squabble. It seems the CEO was deemed unsuitable for the job and a decision taken to terminate her contract within a stipulated assessment period.

Mrs DeSouza-Ransome has countered that while the CEO may not have hit the ground running, she made worthy strides and with more staff and leadership training, she could have soared.

I take no sides, but as a businessman, I can see this type of confusion further restricting our efforts to market TT in the international market. I have hired people who were ideal when interviewed but were unable to perform when hired.

What concerns me is the leaking of confidential information which to me, was done to compromise and embarrass the chairman and other board members.

DeSouza-Ransome, an attorney attached to a government ministry, in effect admitted the CEO was unsuitable when she said, she (Campbell) did not hit the ground running, even admitting that the CEO was out of her depth by proposing "training" in order for her to do her job. The position of CEO is not an OJT position.

I'm sure when Ms Campbell was hired, it was expected she would bring the requisite expertise required to make TTL a successful marketing organisation rather than a training institution.

Mrs DeSouza-Ransome needs to tell us, from a lawyer's perspective if: the CEO's contract allowed for additional training; if the probation period was extended further and; what compensation would be applicable if the CEO's position was terminated thereafter.

By the way, I happened to be in Washington, DC, in May when Embassy Day was being observed. A visit to the TT Embassy was a disappointment both with our product presentation and quality of food (on sale) that represented our cuisine. There was no evidence TT was being marketed as a tourist destination. For a well established event like this, we can but ask, why was there no TTL presence?

Ballard, Diego Martin

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