SriLankan Airlines CEO Suren Ratwatte who is currently holidaying in Melbourne Australia is to tender his resignation before the 2nd of February 2018, Colombo Telegraph reliably learns.
Earlier when the Board of Directors of SriLankan Airlines had convened on the 25th of January 2018, they had unanimously agreed that the services of CEO Ratwatte should be terminated. Their decision had been conveyed to CEO Ratwatte and he was verbally asked to resign last week.
However instead of informing of his decision CEO Ratwatte took wing to Melbourne Australia.
The Board of Directors who are scheduled to meet once again on the 2nd of February 2018 will now decide on an exit package which they will implement by the end of February 2018, if in the event CEO Ratwatte does not tender his resignation.
Colombo Telegraph reliably learns that if CEO Ratwatte does not resign, he will be sacked.
Ratwatte is the brother of Charitha Ratwatte a close confidante and current advisor to Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe
The Sunday Times newspaper in its headlined article titled “SriLankan Board votes to sack CEO Ratwatte” published on 28th January 2018 went on to state “However, the Sunday Times learns that Prime Minister Wickremesinghe has said that a ‘caretaker board of directors’ had no power to take such action. He said the removal of the CEO would be a matter for the Minister in charge of the airline, Kabir Hashim to decide. There was also a Ministerial Committee and a separate Restructuring Committee of the airline that needed to be consulted”.
Sources close to the Prime Minister’s office when contacted said “The above statement published in the Sunday Times is incorrect. The Board of Directors has every right to sack the CEO of SriLankan Airlines. This is not a ‘caretaker’ Board of Directors, but a fully-fledged Board appointed over two years ago. They have every right to decide whats good for the airline”.
A very close associate of Chairman Ajith Dias speaking to Colombo Telegraph said “The Board of Directors has decided to give Suren Ratwatte the opportunity of resigning. This is the noble way of asking him to serve his three month notice period prior to departing. He would then stand to be paid his wages during his notice period which would be approximately Rs 9 million. He also has the opportunity then to seek employment elsewhere. If in the event he is terminated it does not look too good for him. After all he made a decision to leave behind a very lucrative package at Emirates Airline where he was flying the A380 as a Captain and opt for a lower wage when joining the national carrier”.
Meanwhile last December, employees of the national carrier had begun to despise the presence of CEO Ratwatte in office.
The airline’s Alliance of Unions that represents every employee sent in a letter to the Board of Directors and copied President Maithripala Sirisena and Premier Ranil Wickremesinghe seeking his removal. This was after employees began to lose faith and trust in his competence, decision making abilities and and most of all his abuse of power.
CEO Ratwatte’s decision to ignore recommendations made by Lawyer J.C.Weliamuna and his Board of Inquiry’s findings of fraud and corruption committed by the previous Rajapaksa regime, the unfair dismissals of employees such as Captains Sujith Jayasekara and Charles Sirimanne, re-leasing 18 year old aircraft at staggering costs without seeking Director Board approval, shutting down of lucrative European destinations such as Rome, Frankfurt and Paris and a loss making wet lease deal with Pakistan International Airlines were some of the reasons that also exposed the incompetence of their inexperienced CEO.