10 May 2004

SamoaTel CEO quits

7:41 am on 10 May 2004

The chief executive of Samoa's telephone company has resigned.

New Zealander, Mark Yeoman, was placed on leave this year while allegations of financial misappropriation against him were investigated.

Mr Yeoman was cleared, but leaks from the firm revealed a battle for control amongst expatriate managers, who in turn were facing resentment from local staff over their salaries and benefit packages.

There have also been tensions within the board which saw chairman Murray Drake and a fellow director removed.

In a message sent to members of the Pacific Islands Telecommunications Association, Mr Yeoman said he was immensely proud of the progress of SamoaTel over the last few years.

He said the company has made enormous strides in all of its key strategic areas and its staff, including its management team, could be very proud of what they have achieved.

Samoa's Minister of Communications, Palusalue Fa'apo II, said Mr Yeoman had indicated he would like to continue involvement with SamoaTel as an independent director and would help find a replacement CEO.

Mr Yeoman was recruited to head Samoa's landline telephone company, soon after it was changed from a government department into a state-owned enterprise.