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TCL gets acting CEO

Published: 
Thursday, August 21, 2014
Members of the newly installed directors of Trinidad Cement Limited from left Christopher Dehring,Carlos Palero, Glenn Hamel-Smith, Alison Lewis, Francisco Aguilera, Wilfred Espinet and Nigel Edwards shortly after being elected during the company's special shareholders meeting at Radisson Hotel in Port of Spain on Tuesday. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ

The reconfigured board of Claxton Bay-based cement producer TCL yesterday appointed an acting CEO to lead the company, following Tuesday night’s delivery of a letter of suspension to the substantive group CEO, Rollin Bertrand. The new acting CEO is Cemex executive Alejandro Ramirez, who has been a TCL director since his election to the board at the company’s last annual meeting on October 12, 2012. 

Ramirez replaced Luis Cantu who served as the Cemex representative on the TCL board for two years. Bertrand was one of six TCL directors who tendered their resignations within hours of the company losing an application to the local Court of Appeal for an injunction that would have stopped the special compulsory meeting by shareholders on Tuesday. The resignation of the TCL directors meant that there was no need for Tuesday’s meeting to vote on their removal.

The only agenda item at the meeting was the election of seven new  directors: Wilfred Espinet, Alison Lewis, Chris Dehring, Glenn Hamel-Smith, Nigel Edwards, Carlos Palero and Francisco Aguilera. All seven were elected unanimously with votes and proxies amounting to 83.33 per cent of TCL’s total shares. On Tuesday night, coming out of the new board’s first meeting, TCL wrote to Bertrand informing him that he was suspended and that his performance would be reviewed in a process that was not expected to take more than 30 days.

The board yesterday established a three-member committee to review Bertrand’s performance. The board also appointed committees to review proposals that it has received to conduct financial and operational assessments of the company’s position. Out of those financial and operational assessments, the board expects to generate a plan for its future within 90 days.

Several members of the new TCL board travelled to Claxton Bay yesterday to meet with senior executives of the company’s Trinidad operations and they also spoke with executives at TCL subsidiaries in Barbados and Jamaica by teleconference. Speaking yesterday, TCL chairman Wilfred Espinet said the new board’s main priority at this point was to ensure that the operations at its facilities throughout the region continued to operate. 

About Ramirez
Alejandro Ramirez is country director of CEMEX Puerto Rico. He was appointed to the position in April 2011 and under his directorship, the company has attained marked improvements in its operations. Since October 2012, CEMEX business units in Peru and Argentina also report to him. 

Ramirez joined CEMEX in July 2000 and has held positions in various areas including Strategic Planning Director and Projects Director at CEMEX Central, Planning Vice President of the Philippines and Asia, Country Manager (Thailand), Vice President of Planning (Venezuela), Vice President of Strategic Projects (South America and the Caribbean), and Director of Corporate Affairs (Americas).

Ramirez has extensive experience in management of business units as well as development and implementation of operative and corporate strategies. He holds an MBA with a Major in Finance from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and a BSc. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from the Monterrey Institute of Technology, Mexico. Source: TCL’s Web site