Digicel names new CEO

‘transformation’ Chief a natural fit for our business, says chairman

Digicel customers can expect a significant change at the helm of its regional operations come next year.

In a statement today, the Irish-based telecommunications giant announced the appointment of Alexander Matuschka Greiffenclau as group chief executive, effective February 2018.

He will succeed Colm Delves who has cited for personal and family reasons for his decision to step down after 13 years in the position.

This is the latest in a series of high level changes within the telecommunications company over the past three years. Earlier this year, former Commercial Director Alex Tasker made his return to Digicel (Barbados) Limited as Chief Executive Officer, as Conor Looney was promoted to the post of Hub Chief Executive Officer for the Irish telecommunications company’s Caribbean and Central American operations. Before that, in 2015, Johnny Ingle called it quits six months after succeeding Mark Linehan who spent two years in the post of Chief Executive Officer of Digicel (Barbados) Limited.

Alex Matuschka Greiffenclau

In recent months, the company has also been actively engaged in internal restructuring that has resulted in several job cuts, amid reports by the independent research provider that the company was facing an uncertain future due to high debt, currency fluctuations and change in consumer behaviour.

The report, published last December in the Irish Examiner, quoted CreditSights analyst Michael Chakardijan as saying in London last Wednesday that Digicel’s high debt levels of more than $6 billion left little room for manoeuvre.

It also contended that the change in Digicel users’ habits may hamper the company’s ability to increase margins by 24 percentage points by March 2018, while cutting costs by using technology and changing back office functions.

However, there was no talk today of the company’s debt position as it was announced that Delves, who was credited with growing the company’s revenues from US$478 million in eight markets to $2.5 billion revenues across 32 markets with a ten-fold increase in profitability and subscribers, is to remain on as a non-executive director of Digicel and will also provide advisory services to the Group.     

“Having accrued more air-miles than I care to admit and with Digicel very well positioned to capitalize on our unique market positions, I have decided now is the appropriate time to step down from my executive role to spend a bit more time on personal and family priorities,” Delves was also quoted in a company statement as saying.

Group chairman Denis O’Brien also praised Delves for his contribution to the company while enthusiastically welcoming Matuschka Greiffenclau to the group.

“I am very pleased to welcome Alex to lead our talented management team at a really exciting time for the business. Given his telecommunications credentials and his experience of working in dynamic and transforming sectors, he’s a natural fit for our business,” Obrien said, adding that “Our enthusiastic welcome of Alex is tempered only by the fact that Colm will be stepping down from a role in which he excelled and where he led by example for more than a dozen years.”

Delves’ replacement is coming from VEON, a leading global provider of telecommunications services, where he has served as group chief performance officer since mid-2015.  He previously served as chief transformation officer at Nokia Networks, where he was credited as playing a key role in its transformation. Prior to joining Nokia, he gained extensive experience in the automotive and machining industries.

He holds a joint business degree (Diplom-Kaufmann) in International Business Economy from International Business School Lippstadt in Germany and West Virginia University in the US.

  “I am very pleased to join the Digicel team. I view Digicel’s progress implementing Digicel 2030 as a truly ground breaking initiative and an opportunity to transform our customers’ communications and entertainment experience,” Matuschka Greiffenclau said in commenting on his appointment.

“ In my view, Digicel has first mover advantage in its customer engagement evolution and I aim to ensure we capitalize on that for the benefit of all stakeholders,” he added.

25 Responses to Digicel names new CEO

  1. Frank Fowler
    Frank Fowler December 12, 2017 at 1:12 am

    So there are no black people in the Caribbean that can run Digicel, a company that rips them off daily?

    Reply
    • Jennifer December 12, 2017 at 4:44 am

      Does it really matter??????

      Reply
    • Rawle Spooner
      Rawle Spooner December 12, 2017 at 7:17 am

      Very good question.

      Reply
    • Marcia Walton
      Marcia Walton December 12, 2017 at 7:37 am

      Was just about to ask the same question but you beat me to it

      Reply
    • Mike Johnson
      Mike Johnson December 12, 2017 at 11:40 am

      Its frightening everytime a post is open only white people can fill them. What a shame.

      Reply
    • Shaunie Nurse
      Shaunie Nurse December 12, 2017 at 12:46 pm

      Digicel is a cash grab for these Irishmen, so even if there are qualified Caribbean black persons, they cannot share in the profits.

      Reply
  2. archy perch December 12, 2017 at 5:44 am

    The colour of ones skin in the corporate world does not tighten the screws on consumers. It is the greedy appetite of share holders that oil the capitalistic machine. Alex McDonald once headed LIME. He looked black to me,but Alex spent almost four years with that telecommunications giant screwing workers and customers.

    Reply
    • Jennifer December 12, 2017 at 6:13 am

      Exactly. That black CEO will have the same greedy yoke in place. What we should probably be looking at ownership. But that might only lead to………………..

      Reply
  3. BIGSKY December 12, 2017 at 6:32 am

    I sign up for a package for Play 25 for $60 but everytime I get my bill,it was $72.50,then $77.50 and now $82.50.I am glad that nothing can be taken in the graveyard.All the yachts,luxury cars,mansions,jewelry . . . .none can be taken so Digicel you can accumulate all the wealth you want by fleecing poor people.

    Reply
    • Jennifer December 12, 2017 at 6:40 am

      Well said, and no one to stand for the people or bend the bow.

      Reply
  4. Denise Blackman
    Denise Blackman December 12, 2017 at 6:43 am

    Again, to rob we some more!!

    Reply
  5. Black Man in Business December 12, 2017 at 7:18 am

    Colour of your Skin is still a very major issue as it still seem smarter to hire white people for International Business and to deal with Government relations according to some of my sources. It will be very difficult for Black private sector CEO to get things done fast or even heard. So the world is still very Racist and messed up. In the Caribbean we have a serious problem with our people. We prefer outside people…. Time we stop the nonsense.

    Reply
  6. Rawle Spooner
    Rawle Spooner December 12, 2017 at 7:19 am

    Is service going to get any better and is Digicel going to stop goughing customers nah dont see that happening.

    Reply
  7. BLACK December 12, 2017 at 7:29 am

    All these companies do this in the light of your faces, this is telling you, Look! your are not the person we want at the top of the helm, but, then again its your money, that fluid these engines, bottom line, find someway to spend your money, this is 2017 not 1817… WAKE UP FOOLS..

    Reply
    • Jennifer December 12, 2017 at 10:11 am

      Due to funnelling and pipeline-ing, we WILL remain in such a boat. Keep watching.
      Oh and there is no others to divert too either.

      Reply
  8. milli watt December 12, 2017 at 7:41 am

    by the time I get around to pronouncing this blood suckers name he to will be gone……………..much a do about nothig my hands full wid sewage unless he want to roll up he sleeves

    Reply
  9. rsearles December 12, 2017 at 8:07 am

    Digicel are in so much trouble its crazy !! The debt is goign to ctach them in 2018 for sure…..The people who had built this company have all left….including the CFO & CEO…their headquarters are thousands of miles away in Ireland and so those people are so removed from the daily operations of the market. Their new region set up and attempted to be run by Conor Looney who left Barbados in tatters will be a big failure and is just there to cut company costs….Digicel is a voice revenue business that has failed over the years to move into the data race. Too many good persons have joined and never been listened to by their “board of directors” a group of individuals who are very out of touch with growing consumer demands for both pricing and products. So they can put whoever they like in charge it wont change anything now.. its too late….

    Reply
  10. Leroy December 12, 2017 at 9:41 am

    Will almost $5 bill in debt, digicel have no choice but to rob subscribers.
    ‘Soon Digicel will be no more(bankruptcy or some foolish company buys them) and reborn with a different name,,and smarter tactics to rob the people even more.

    Reply
  11. Tony Webster December 12, 2017 at 10:12 am

    Good Lord , help us all (again), to understand. In the year of our Lord 2017, (not 1817, or even 1917), it’s the colour of money, the delivery on market position; shareholder bottom line; delivered promises snd sustained performance, plus competitive products and pricing….that counts….NOT the colour of ANYONE’S skin, that matters. Where have you guys tossed your education?

    Unless this is China, or Russia, that’s exactly how it should be too. A FREE MARKET, AND CONSUMERS FREE TO CHOOSE

    .
    BTW, ANY OF US COMMENTERS ARE FREE TO START UP THEIR OWN SERVICE…AND MEK NUFF MONEY TOO. N’EST PAS?

    Reply
    • Jennifer December 12, 2017 at 10:53 am

      @T Webster – Do you see any obstacles which may inhibit black people from achieving such??? And where do you think these phone companies got the startup and know how????

      Reply
  12. Alex Alleyne December 12, 2017 at 10:13 am

    jUST CHECK OUT THE “ATTITUDE” OF THE new gUY FROM ja

    @FF, did you check out the attitude coming from the “Black Guy” at FLOW towards BARBADOS ???? . And he is a CARICOM National.
    All I need is better service from both DICICEL & FLOW for my “hard earn money”.

    Reply
  13. jrsmith December 12, 2017 at 12:29 pm

    The corporates have bajans lock down and locked in , the behaviour as like our politicians , you like it or lump it, all they do is use bajans as guinea pigs , control by one cartel which sit in the back ground playing the game as they like…….
    The telecoms market in Barbados needs opening up we need a couple of honest players who , wouldn’t be scared of by (CW) who is hooked into couple giants in the (UK) …

    Reply
    • drjones December 12, 2017 at 1:05 pm

      Jrsmith, the honest new player came in July and hired over 50 local staff… with lower rates have you supported them… to ensure competition for this island..?!

      Reply
  14. BLACK December 12, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    @ TONY EASU WEBSTER, YES IF THE BANKS WOULD GIVE US LOANS OF COURSE WE CAN GET ENGINES MOVING. BUT YOUR GENERATION STOLE SO MUCH FROM US, YOU CAN’T SEE A BLACK MAN OR WOMAN RUNNING THE CO. FOR YOUR INFORMATION BARBADOS HAVE A FEW HUNDRED MEN OR WOMEN THAT CAN DO THIS JOB, IT’S A CAKE WALK, DO NOT MAKE PEOPLE THINK THIS IS ROCKET SCIENCE, ITS NOT. SON OF EASU HAVE A GREAT DAY AND AGAIN, WAKE UP PEOPLE, YOUR ARE BEEN TAKEN FOR A RIDE, THEY DON’T CARE ABOUT YOU AT THE TOP…

    Reply
  15. Saga Boy December 12, 2017 at 10:06 pm

    Tony Webster if you live in Barbados and honestly believed that the color of your skin does not matter then you are a hypocrite.

    Reply

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