Opposition Senator Caswell Franklyn is questioning what is so special about the Canadian-German who was identified as the candidate to take up the position of Chief Executive Officer of the Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc (BTMI) in a leaked document at a proposed salary of $240 000 in addition to several perks.
In Friday’s E-paper, Barbados TODAY published an article, which stated that a widely circulated memorandum purported to be a BTMI Board of Directors paper dated July 29 outlined that Jens Thraenhart beat out the second and third choices Paul Nursery and Stuart Bowe in the state agency’s selection and recruitment process.
However, when contacted, Minister of Tourism Senator Lisa Cummins was adamant that Government has not yet approved anyone for the CEO post at BTMI. Cummins said she had not seen the document, and noted that no one can be hired in a government company at the level of CEO without it having been approved by Cabinet.
Franklyn however claimed: “This document is absolutely true. The problem is that it got out before they wanted it to get out. And I do not believe the Minister for one minute that she wasn’t aware of what was going on. This is a Government controlled company.”
The Opposition Senator said Barbadians need to know what would commend Thraenhart to lead a tourism agency in Barbados. He said, “from what I am seeing about what they said about him he does not have anything that stands out to commend him for the job”.
In the purported BTMI document, it was outlined that according to Traenhart’s bio on his official website, he has over 25 years of international travel, tourism and hospitality experience. The document further stated that he will be provided with a fully maintained company vehicle, a pension gratuity payment equivalent to 20 per cent of basic annual earnings, a contributory medical plan, 42 calendar days annual vacation, overseas travel, and 21 paid sick days annually, among other perks.
But, Franklyn said he is struggling to understand why “a man who is a high flyer” would come to Barbados to earn BDS $120,000 annually, which could be considered a middle management salary in hotel industries in international countries.
“My son as a 25-year-old boy was earning 85 000 US dollars as a junior manager at a hotel in New York. You think that a man who is a high flyer will come and earn 120 000 US? That is middle management salary. (AH)