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If you don’t have a crisis, just simply create one … 15/09/2011

Posted by Corneel Maes in Uncategorized.
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At least, it looks like that is what Didier Bellens, the CEO of Belgacom, thought over the weekend. And he succeeded all right. Admittedly, the man has built a reputation of seeking confrontation with his Board of Directors. But he’s gone over the top as he maneuvered himself into a deadly collision course – even with his political friends who always supported him to date. Belgacom’s week started in a very tense atmosphere as Concetta Fagard, Didier Bellens’ ‘protégée’ and self declared executive advisor was re-appointed against the veto of the Board. It’s been interesting to watch how far Belgacom’s CEO could stretch it this time with his Board of Directors. Is it courage or arrogance that drives him up this alley? Maybe revenge? One thing is for sure: Didier Bellens has not been showing great leadership here by putting his personal vendetta front and center. He’s quite a character all right. But what does he want to prove by overruling the Board of Directors and re-installing a manager who was dismissed for putting psychological terror on Belgacom’s employees. The company is facing many challenges ahead and its employees are working like hell to get there. The last thing they need is to be distracted by an unnecessary internal crisis, consciously invoked by their CEO. In a statement Didier Bellens said that Belgacom needs good people. Well, I challenge him to lead by example and start showing some respect – for his employees to start with. Tomorrow the Board of Directors of Belgacom will make a final decision about the Bellens case. Their position is decisively clear. If Bellens doesn’t draw back, the full Board will resign. Nobody needed this to be escalated to a point where it’s getting really absurd. But then again it shows how mixing up corporate and personal interests can lead straight into a crisis situation.

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