Former Commercial Director Alex Tasker is due to make his return to Digicel (Barbados) Limited as Chief Executive Officer, as Conor Looney, the current CEO, is promoted to the post of Hub Chief Executive Officer for the Irish telecommunications company’s Caribbean and Central American operations.
Barbados TODAY confirmed Friday afternoon that Tasker, who left the telecommunications company in 2014 to take up a position at insurance company Insurance Corporation of Barbados Limited (ICBL) was preparing to make a comeback with the full change over due to be completed by July 17.
Attempts to contact Looney and Tasker for comment Friday were unsuccessful. However, Barbados TODAY understands that once the announcement was made “the staff were very happy” to hear that Tasker would be going back to Digicel.
It was roughly two years after Digicel established a presence in Barbados that Tasker joined the company as head of sales in September 2006 and about four years later became commercial director.
Tasker, who has over 20 years experience in retail management, left Digicel in August 2014 to take up the post of Senior Vice-President of Business Development and Marketing at ICBL.
Irishman Looney became the CEO of Digicel Barbados in February last year. However, he has had to face up to several challenges in recent months, including a report by independent research provider CreditSights 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 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.
It also said the company had been suffering from a decline in phone call revenue as users switch to the likes of Viber, WhatsApp and Skype.
However, even though Looney responded saying that Digicel had fundamentally disagreed with the conclusions of the report, the company has since announced a hike in its mobile and data rates for customers in Barbados. It has also retrenched several workers here, amid unsubstantiated reports of a possible takeover by its competitor Flow.