The man who has been picked by the Board of Directors to lead the state-owned National Communications Network as its Chief Executive Officer believes that he is the best man for the job despite admitting to forging the signature of a GT&T Deputy Manager when he worked at that company over a decade ago.
Public Relations Consultant, Lennox Cornette, who is set to take up the CEO role at NCN from May 1, 2016, released a statement on Tuesday afternoon defending his work record over the years.
He said following the announcement by the NCN Board that he has emerged as “the best candidate” among those who were interviewed for the post of CEO, “came attacks on my person from online news sources. These attacks, instigated I suppose, were first centered on an occurrence when I was Public Relations Officer of GT&T. They then descended to question my ability to manage the national broadcaster.”
Cornette went on to explain that the GT&T forgery issue had nothing to do with finances, but he did not offer any other explanation or clarification.
“I wish to place on record that the signature issue at GT&T had nothing to do with money or financial impropriety. It was an internal matter that was dealt with internally by GT&T. This can be attested to by the company”, he said.
News Source understands that the issue surrounded the preparation of a document for a Foreign embassy in Guyana under the name of then General Manager, Terry Holder.
Holder was unaware of the document until he was reportedly contacted by the Foreign Mission.
Cornette has admitted to forging Holder’s signature, according to the Chairman of the NCN Board, Bish Panday, in an email to other Board members.
Reports suggest that the incident may have left Cornette unable to travel to at least two western countries.
But in his statement, Mr. Cornette said that since his departure from GT&T at the end of 1999, “the company and I have maintained cordial relations. In May 2011, the company asked me to chair the 16th TeleGathering Meeting that it was hosting in Guyana over the Easter weekend.”
He said when it comes to his ability to manage the national broadcaster, he has more than 20 years’ experience in management and executive management positions, and has successfully fulfilled several consultancies for national and international organizations.
The incoming CEO said that from the leaked emails from the NCN Board discussion to what is being said in media reports, it seems obvious that someone was pre-selected outside of the Board, for the CEO’s position.
“However, it is now public knowledge that my submissions to the Board (all applicants were required submit with their applications an outline of what they perceive as the mandate of NCN and how they will enhance that mandate), as well as my performance at the interview, came closest to what the Board required”, he noted.
NCN Board Member and Director of Public Information, Imran Khan, in an email exchange seen by News Source, strongly objected to the Board’s decision to hire Cornette over veteran Broadcaster Enrico Woolford for the job.
Khan raised concern about Cornette’s lack of experience in broadcast media and also made it clear to the board that the fact that he admitted to forging the signature of a General Manager in the past, should be a good enough reason to disqualify him from being picked for the position.
Khan has threatened to resign over the decision.
The NCN Board is expected to meet later this week to discuss the issue.
In the meanwhile, Cornette is moving ahead with his plans to take up the post and has stated that as the CEO of NCN, he intends to revolutionize the entity and will ensure that a good strategic plan is developed.
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