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Lesco CEO shown the door; junior to hold the charge

September 04, 2012


LAHORE, Sept 3: Water and power ministry on Monday terminated the contract of Lahore Electric Supply Company CEO Sharfat Sial and told a junior engineer, who falls eighth on the seniority list, to “temporarily look after the office”, causing administrative confusion in the company.

According to the official notification, Mr Ziaul Latif would have temporary charge of the post that legally means, the new CEO cannot use any administrative or financial powers vested in the office.

“In fact Mr Latif cannot use any powers for that matter,” says an officer working at Human Resource Department of the Pakistan Electric Power Company (Pepco).

This was the strangest possible administrative order, he insisted. As per legal interpretation of the “operative words of the order,” the position is temporary, it is not even full charge of the office, leave alone full appointment, it is without any administrative and financial power and the new CEO would be a chief engineer and CEO at the same time – both offices differing hugely in order of company seniority.

In short, it was a recipe for confusion for everyone – the employees and the Board of Directors -- he asserted and added: “No one would know how to deal with the office and the person of the CEO, and what would be his relation with the company.”

Without exercising such powers, how the CEO would operate effectively and manage the company, wonders a Lesco Board of Directors member.

To make it still worse, the new chief cannot relinquish his existing, and much junior, post of the chief engineer (development) which he holds only on “current charge basis”, which means his substantive rank is still that of the superintendent engineer (SE) not even chief engineer (CE).

“It would be interesting to note that as chief engineer (development), Mr Latif would be working under the general manager (technical). However, as the CEO, he would be boss of the same GM,” he said.

“There are two general managers (technical and operations) and five chief engineers senior to the new CEO,” says a Lesco official wondering in the presence of all these senior officers, how a junior will work and that too without any financial and administrative powers?

The company officials were also unable to comprehend the situation fully, he lamented.