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Giant move

by Emmanuel Joseph

cableandwirelesslogoTelecommunications giant Cable & Wireless Communications, is shutting down its British headquarters after 140 years and relocating to the Caribbean region, described by its Chief Executive, Tony Rice, as a stronghold.

Barbados TODAY also understands that as part of the company’s consolidation thrust, local affiliate LIME has already moved out personnel from at least two floors of its Wildey, St. Michael corporate office and placed them at the nearby Windsor Lodge corporate branch.

A source within LIME said that the Chief Executive Officer’s office was among the departments relocated. Some of the others, the source told this newspaper, were human resources, marketing and finance staff.

But in an official comment, LIME’s Corporate Communications and Public Relations Manager, Carolyn Williams-Gayle told Barbados TODAY: “We are still very much operating from our Wildey offices; however, we are leasing that building and our lease expires in 2016.

“We are currently exploring our options as it relates to whether we remain in the lease, or give it up. Our offices at Wildey house not only people, but some large and very significant pieces of equipment,” stated Williams-Gayle.

“We have not made any firm determination as to which option we will be moving forward with, as we are still in the planning phase of this exercise,” she added.

Williams-Gayle said though that the nature of the resources within that leased space required LIME to look three years out in order to examine the most feasible option with regards to moving those resources, or having them remain in Wildey.

“Some departments, which include marketing and human resources, have recently been consolidated at our Windsor Lodge office. This has made it easier for those groups, which were previously operating at both locations, to work together,” she added.

C&W, which once employed 54,000 people world-wide, is transferring about 100 jobs to the US, as it moves the headquarters from Central London, to southern Florida. CWC has recently sold its networks in several countries, so it could focus on operations in Panama and its Caribbean stronghold.

The chief executive of the parent company is also relocating his London office closer to the region — Florida to be exact. He has made it clear that the telecoms giant intended to make it the go-to player in the region, and would be focusing on a single hemisphere with low penetration for data services and strong growth potential where CWC has scale and market leadership.

In 2003, the company reported a loss of £6.4 billion, from income of £4.4.  However, the Caribbean was the only portion of the business still making a significant profit. Investigations by this paper showed that the firm now makes $586 million in revenue in Panama, and $1.12 billion a year from this region.

Rice, who announced full-year results today, said further job cuts over the coming two years would help create $100 million a year in savings.

Writing in the 2012 annual report for the Barbados operation, Chief Financial Officer, Rojer J. Inglis observed that Cable & Wireless (Barbados) Limited continued to reap the results of its structural adjustment that year, by realising revenue growth over the last 12 months of operations.

“The company realised total revenue of $372.9 million, with income per share of 27 cents,” reported Inglis.

The firm parted company recently with its two top executives, Country Manager Alex McDonald and CEO for Barbados and the Eastern Caribbean, Gerard Borely.


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