THE EDITOR: Government-controlled corporations like the Telecommunications Services of TT (TSTT) are, unfortunately, saddled with political appointees who get instructions from the political party that hired them.
So, it was no surprise when the board made the chief executive officer the scapegoat for the data breach of its operations. However, Lisa Agard was not responsible for the violation. But as the CEO and the face of TSTT, she took one for the PNM, her employer.
But that is the name of the game when you work for the PNM; you are hired at the pleasure of the party and the Cabinet. And, irrespective of where the fault lies, you must take one for the team.
We are all aware that the PNM does not like to admit fault when it comes to its failures in government. That is why we are in the predicament of every ministry failing to provide necessities such as water, electricity, education, medical services, legal affairs, national security, finance, housing, etc. The long list covers every aspect of life in this sad nation.
However, since the PNM is afraid of looking foolish if it replaces cabinet members, it thinks it is immune to criticism when it comes to PNM-controlled corporations like TSTT. The party seems to think it can hide behind the corporate heads it hired and blame them for all its misdeeds. After all, the PNM giveth and the PNM taketh away. That is in its contract.
To be clear, no matter the level of education the CEO or anyone else in the political stratosphere has, the only thing that matters is the bottom line when running billion-dollar corporations. Moreover, according to financial reports, TSTT suffered an 18 per cent decline in revenue in 2021. Was the CEO fired for the fiduciary failing of the company? Were there warnings to her concerning the ongoing losses, and they were waiting for the other shoe to drop so they could dump her?
The reality is that cyberattacks are now part of the new digital space we occupy. The board of directors' job is to work with international experts and an in-house chief information security officer managing a 24/7 team to robustly and aggressively detect and foil incoming threats. If the board had done its job, the malicious data breach would not have occurred, as cybersecurity tools would have been in place to thwart all intrusions.
I stand for fairness, integrity, and morality in business. That is why I am protesting the board of directors' unfair dismissal of CEO Agard. Let us not throw out the baby with the bathwater. Instead, look at the board's responsibility to see if it had the foresight to expend the resources to protect the people's interests.