The PLP condemns Mr. Julian Francis’ vile, despicable, dastardly and cowardly attack on Mr. Leon Williams, a Bahamian of the highest international repute. He should be careful about being perceived as the mouthpiece of the FNM.
Leon Williams outstanding resume speaks for itself. He was elected twice by Acclamation as Chairman of the Board of CANTO (Trinidad 2006, Suriname 2008). He was elected by Acclamation as Vice Chairman in 2005 in Jamaica. He was elected Director in 2003 in Cuba. He was elected Treasurer in Puerto Rico in 1998. He is one of five Honourary Members of CANTO effective 2009 in Trinidad after BTC asked CANTO not to extend him an invitation to the Conference held in The Bahamas in 2008.
CANTO (Caribbean Association of National Telecommunications Organizations) has as it’s members 116 Telecom Providers and Vendors in 33 Countries on four Continents with a theme “Many Nations one Voice.” CANTO’s membership includes all the Cable & Wireless and DIGICEL Companies in the Caribbean. While Mr. Williams was Chairman a C&W CEO was Vice Chairman and C&W CEO was Treasurer. A Vice President from C&W and a Vice President from DIGICEL were also on the Board.
When Mr. Williams became Chairman of CANTO the Association had a Membership of 70. When Mr. Williams left CANTO’s membership was 113. That is an improvement of over 61%. Mr. Williams leadership made major improvements to an International Association while improving BTC at home.
At CANTO’s Annual Conference and Trade Show held at the Atlantis in July 2008, Dr. Hamadoun I. Toure Secretary General of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU, the oldest Department of the United Nations) praised and thanked Mr. Williams for his contributions to Telecommunications in The Region and in The Bahamas.
In 2006 Mr. Williams was recommended to the Board of the GSM Association by the President of AT&T. He would have been the first Caribbean National, the First Bahamian to be so honoured. Because of his work at BTC & CANTO, BTC Board felt he was being stretched too thin. As a result he turned down the position. The GSM Association has 800 Mobile Operators in 219 Countries with over 4.5 Billion customers today.
While Mr. Williams was AGM in Grand Bahama & Bimini the Revenues increased from $19 Million to $30 Million.
During Mr. Williams Tenure as Chief Operations Officer (COO), Mr. Williams was Executive Sponsor of many successful Capital Development Projects (DSL/ATM) at a cost of $34 Million; Fiber Optic Submarine Cables connecting 13 Islands of The Bahamas, and Haiti ($60 Million). A Fiber Optic cable connecting Bimini to Grand Bahama ($6.1 Million); A GSM/GPRS/EDGE Network ($140 Million) to name a few projects.
Between December 2005 – April 2008 Mr. Williams was President and CEO. BTC’s Revenues grew from $293 Million to $353 Million; BTC’s EBITDA grew from 26% to 34%. BTC’s Profit grew from $34 Million to $44 Million. BTC’s Money in the Bank grew from $73 Million to over $170 Million.
During Mr. Williams tenure as President and CEO, BTC was name Company of The Year; BTC’s Junior Achievement Companies in New Providence, Grand Bahama and Abaco were voted Companies of The Year. BTC’s CIO was named Boss of The Year.
It is worthy of note that former BTC Chairman Sir Albert J Miller gave glowing written endorsement of Leon Williams just prior to his elevation to President and CEO of BTC.
This attack is more of the FNM like mean spiritedness, vindictiveness and victimization. We doubt that he would have uttered those words about a man from the Eastern Road. The FNM is no stranger to destruction of our customs and institutions. Custom and the law dictate that matters before the Courts should not be discussed in the media (save for reporting the proceedings of the Court). Mr. Leon Williams has a dispute with BTC about his service to BTC before the Courts. Julian Francis is the Executive Chairman of BTC. It is contemptuous of our Judicial System and its customs and conventions (as well as the law) for Mr. Francis to make disparaging comments in the media about Mr. Leon Williams’ long, outstanding and distinguish service to BTC. We call upon Mr. Francis to apologize to Mr. Williams. We also call upon Mr. Francis to apologize to our hard working Judges for his contempt of the judicial system.
Julian Francis should tell the Bahamian Public the reason for his short time tenure as Chairman of the Grand Bahama Port Authority; inquiring minds would wish to know.
Under the FNM it is not better in The Bahamas for Bahamians.