Government enterprises chairmanships
By David Lindsay
Government yesterday announced sweeping changes to the chairmanships
of a handful of its corporations, apparently spurred by the decision
taken by Joseph F.X. Zahra to resign from his chairmanship of national
telecoms carrier Maltacom so as to retain his much longer standing chairmanship
of Bank of Valletta.
Speaking about the decision yesterday, Mr Zahra cited the last seven
months in which he had served as Maltacom chairman as having given him
"great personal satisfaction.
He explains, "My Boards mission was that of tackling a number
of pending issues in a decisive and effective manner. These months were
taken up dealing with Maltacoms shareholding in Vodafone Malta,
numerous issues with the regulator, preparations for the long overdue
tariff re-balancing, the drafting of a strategic plan for the Group,
and the setting up of the foundations for a leaner and rationalised
corporate and management
I have found great support from Maltacoms serious and mature
technical management who is committed to face the challenges of a deregulated
market and more intense competition.
"My focus now will return in full capacity towards Bank of Valletta
plc as it faces new challenges in the market and the prospect of Governments
divestment in the Bank."
Mr Zahras Maltacom vacated chairmanship position has been filled
by Sonny Portelli, who currently serves as General Manager at the Waterfront
Hotel, a Mizzi Organisation establishment, and as a director at Maltacom.
Mr Portelli started his career in the Malta Civil Service. He left the
service in the late 70 to join the tourism industry, and has since
successfully held a number of senior management appointments in various
areas of this field. He is widely travelled and is well known in tourism
business circles, both locally and overseas. He sits on the Council
of the Malta Hotels and Restaurants Association, and is a member of
several tourism trade and related associations.
Meanwhile, Alfred Rizzo was nominated by government to the Maltacom
board of directors to replace Mr Portelli.
Government has also appointed Vodafone Chief Executive Joe Grioli as
Maltapost chairman and Alfred Mallia-Milanes as chairman of Interprint
According to a statement issued by the Department of Information yesterday,
all the appointments announced will expire on 15 December, 2005.