The Chief Executive Officer of Digicel (Barbados) Limited Mark Linehan has announced he is leaving the top post after nearly two years at the helm of the Irish-owned telecommunications giant.
In a brief statement, issued in response to an official query by Barbados TODAY this evening, Marketing Communications Manager Krystle Smith confirmed Linehan’s pending departure.
“Yes, we can confirm that Digicel Barbados CEO Mark Linehan has decided to leave the business to pursue other endeavours,” Smith said, while noting that he had been with the business for over 13 years, holding several senior positions across the region, including CEO for Digicel in the Eastern Caribbean, Guyana and Jamaica before taking up the position as head of Digicel Barbados in 2013.
“Mark will stay on as CEO of Digicel Barbados until a suitable replacement is found,” the statement added.
Well-placed sources had earlier reported to Barbados TODAY that Linehan communicated the decision to management and staff earlier in the day, before departing the island for Ireland this evening.
However, the sources said the CEO was not expected to formally demit his post before the middle of this year. And even with his pending departure from Digicel, they said the Irishman was expected to remain resident in Barbados indefinitely, along with his family.
The decision follows swiftly on the heels of last week’s approval by the Fair Trading Commission of Cable & Wireless’ take over of Columbus Communications. The deal between C&W, which trades here as LIME, and Columbus, which operates as Flow, is valued at over US$3 billion.
The move has come as a major blow to Digicel, which hitherto had made a point of gobbling up significant market share previously held by the former monopoly provider, to the point of eclipsing C&W’s dominant position in the local and regional telecoms space.
Linehan’s pending departure also comes on the heels of key personnel changes within Digicel over the past several months. Back in February, it was announced that former chief executive officer of Digicel Jamaica, Barry O’Brien would be refocusing his energies on the Barbados market as a recently appointed director for the island.
O’Brien had previously served as CEO of Digicel Barbados for four years before he was appointed CEO of Digicel Jamaica in May 2013. Just last week the company also lost one of its marketing executives, Randy Howard, to the Insurance Corporation of Barbados, after ICBL claimed its former commercial director Alex Tasker in September 2014.
With the recent shifts in the telecoms landscape, Linehan is expected to focus more on consultancy work going forward.
Prior to joining the Barbados team, he held the role of CEO, Digicel Eastern Caribbean South following his four year stint as CEO of Digicel Jamaica, where he was successful in growing the company’s customer base to over two million subscribers, in addition to launching its 4G Mobile and 4G Broadband networks across the island.
His track record of success was also seen during his tenure as CEO of Digicel Guyana, where he led the business to the position of market leader in mobile communications in less than one year of operations.