27 January, 2020

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SriLankan Airlines: ‘Bugger Off’ Gracefully Or Be ‘Sacked’ – Director Board To Decide CEO Ratwatte’s Fate

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.

Ratwatte

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.

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  • 24
    1

    Poor Guy…he was never suitable for an administrative position…no commercial acumen….what
    SriLankan needs is a CEO who can introduce a business strategy that will resurrect the situation..it can only be done through a CEO with solid airline commercial experience..

  • 25
    24

    When you write stories do you get all sides of it or you just function as a gossip and attack rag ? WHO THE HELL TOLD YOU ROME Was a lucrative route or Paris was a Lucrative route? You publish those as if those were facts. Those were routes losing money. Only London remains somewhat feasible. Rome should have been taken out long ago; except MR and CAtholic Church wanted it kept. Frankfurt also lost money. THOSE ARE FACTS. The Cabin crew(meaning Olevel barely passed stewards and stewardesses with no finesse and barely any English or manners hired by MR regime from bintenne), and the pilots were upset because they make a lot of money on per-diem and hotel allowances on those European routes and they get to sightsee. I saw a lot of those godayas at Madam Tussauds in London 3 years ago. Unrefined unlike the original lot of smart, poised and polished cabin crews hired by Air Lanka. After MR destroyed the profits of UL when it was working with MR, Sri Lankan became another top heavy bureaucracy. Suren R tried to trim it. Hence the resistance. Cabin crew STEAL booze and cigarettes from the planes. Well known facts. So do some of the pilots. Pilots also have big egos and were very jealous of Suren Ratwatte because unlike them he worked for a big top airline flying the A-380. He also sacrificed a bigger remuneration package to come work because he was asked to come back. So yes maybe he had his flaws and was a bit arrogant but let those without sin be the first to cast the stone. Sri Lankan is a mess because MR made it a mess with his crooked perverted BIL in charge and everyone making it an election vehicle for jobs, for funds, and to appoint all sorts of ugly Lathas from Bintenne to become stewardesses without the standards held by AirLanka. Suren tried to change all that.

    • 22
      3

      Ratwatte must have flown big aircrafts like A380. Still he was just a pilot. Running an airline is completely different from flying an airliner. Read what Lee Kuan Yew said about Rakhitha Wickremanayake in his book “From third to first’. “When the pilot who became the chairman of new airline AirLanka, decided to buy secondhand aircrafts, we new it was time to pull out”.
      That’s about Ratwatte. Then who is Another Dias? He is a failed garment factory owner. If this Gavapalanaya is serious about turning the national carrier around, they must search the entire world and head hunt an airline executive with a proven track record of turning around ailing airlines. They are rare but with a correct package they can be found. To pay him, you can sack few good for nothing mother fucking ministers including the prime minister and use their salaries.

      • 5
        1

        I suppose people forget that the rot started with Rakhitha Wikremanayake. He was an Air Lanka Pilot who applied and got a pilots job in Air Siam which he kept a secret from Air Lanka which had sent him on training courses and had signed a bond to serve for some years. So what did he do? He and another Air Lanka pilot flew an Air Lanka plane to Bangkok and abandoned it there and telexed Colombo to send a pilot to bring back the plane! He worked in Thailand until JR came to power. Instead of charge sheeting him JR appointed him Chairman of Air Lanka!! Well that’s how it all began. Ever since then the Airline has been going down with a succession of incompetent Chairmen. Premadasa appointed his son in law Rohan Jayakody to the Board. What did he do? He got a servile employee from Australia to transport a painting stolen from Queens House to be taken to a London auction housefor sale.When the auction house published its catalogue Sri Lankan art aficionados recognised the painting and Jayakody was charged. He said that he bought the painting at the Portebello Markets in London and cannot identify the seller! He was charged in SL courts but a corrupt magistrate accepted Jayakody explanation and discharged him. This case is on record in the courts.No wonder Air Lanka is on a flight to nowhere!

        • 2
          1

          Rakhitha was an Air Ceylon pilot. Not an Air Lanka pilot though he flew Air Lanka planes on an off to keep his CPL in valid. Same with Ratwatte. I heard that he scraped the tail of an A320 during a simulator training for which he did not pay Sri Lankan. In addition he got the pilot in-charge of the simulation agreed not to record the incident.

        • 1
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          Not a painting. MANY PAINTINGS from the Ballroom/Audience hall of Queen’s House including portraits of Governors and British Royalty were stolen. Carnations to London. Pouf Jayakody on the board. RAKITHA WAS A PILOT. JR MADE HIM CHAIRMAN UL.

    • 23
      1

      Most of that rant is true but calling him a ‘bit arrogant’ is an understatement. He was a loud mouth urchin with no previous experience in running a Kade ! Ranil’s stupidity and nepotism is obvious to all.
      Also let’s not try to convince anyone that flying an Airbus 380 is more challenging than the rest, ask any pilot and they’ll tell you that the Airbus 320 family is a bigger challenge. By the way EK didn’t pay this guy more than what he got paid at UL as it’s disfunctional CEO ! He was paid THRICE the amount over here by this cash strapped airline.
      HE DIDNT COME TO SERVE THE COUNTRY OR ITS AIRLINE, BUT HIMSELF. So let’s put that one straight

    • 12
      6

      YakkalaSimon you are an ugly piece of work. You need to go to the same hell your friend Suren is going to. It is the same arrogance and disrespect for other human beings that cost Suren his job and reputation. First learn to treat people with respect. You are a disgusting person.

    • 4
      0

      YakkalaSimon:

      You insulted cabin-crews with their education and English, and called “ugly-lathas”. Called pilots “godayas”. — With such a mindset, how can you agree on just a pilot sitting as CEO of a national carrier just because he was flying A-380 for a bigger airline???
      Isn’t it like a nurse becoming a doctor in a smaller clinic?

    • 1
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      Suren ratwatte must be in his 60’s so he could not be still flying for emirates he must have retired

    • 1
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      cabin crew never steal cigarettes and booze from the plane ,they bought the stuff from the duty free on board

  • 18
    0

    Sack the head of HR too- he has been dancing together with the ceo for his own personal benefits by keeping the lady lover – overnight promoted dahanayaka woman! We watch all these love dramas everyday and wonder how lucky this woman has become with the powers of hhr. hHR is responsible for all the recruitments and the enormous cadre of the airline including recruiting his friends daughters etc.

  • 5
    2

    What about people able to qualify as airline pilots without mathematics? They would not be able to calculate the vector speed taking into account the aircraft and wind velocity to chart the course. Lucky none has ended up lost in the south Indian Ocean yet! Probably none of those MR pilots have sufficient flying hours yet to be in command role in sri Lankan!!

  • 15
    1

    Suren came to be CEO not because he is any good but simply because Ranil thinks all Royalist are great(like him!) and the chap has a brother called Charitha.

    Any way this whole thing is a drama enacted to fool the people and only damage control.

    The Board is made of Ranil creatures and Suren’s exit was staged managed. The Board is pretending that they have the power to sack or appoint CEO of Srilanka ! They only jump when Ranil orders them.

    Problem is not with the CEO but this pathetic Board who are only there because of slavish devotion to Ranil. They have proved to be utter failures only interested in enjoying the perks.

    On his way back from Melbourne Suren will stop in Singapore to discuss the good old days and high finance with Mahendran over a glass of expensive wine.

  • 2
    0

    In the last para CT says that the CEO ~
    “Re-leased an 18 year old aircraft at staggering costs without seeking Director Board approval,
    Shut down lucrative European destinations such as Rome, Frankfurt and Paris,
    Made a loss making wet lease deal with Pakistan International Airlines “
    These exposed the incompetence of their inexperienced CEO.
    .
    If above are true, they showed the sort of competence expected.
    Of course there are other CEOs who are even better. Lankan CEOs are intellectuals!

  • 15
    0

    When can we fire the morons who hired Ratwatte?

    As usual all things in Sri Lanka become… Koheda yanney.. Malley Pol. That kind of distraction works for the culprits.
    No one is talking about the previous board that allowed the previous Chairman to have a passionate Love life, at state expense.
    When they talk about Justice, rule of law… They mean us, not them!!

  • 5
    9

    Absolutely endorse Yakkala Simon’s comments!

    CT article is sensationalist and replete with factual innacuracies….gutter journalism at its worst!

  • 11
    0

    This airline was the pride of our skies but this golden era is long since over! Sadly, there are professional and talented people in UL but the political rot has set it.
    As a Sri Lankan citizen, I think it’s time we closed it down!

  • 10
    0

    Ordinary citizens hard earned money paid as taxes to GoSL is wasted on unwanted political appointments

  • 10
    0

    What made the board to sack their CEO who was protected all this time? Is it because of the impending appointment of Presidential Commission of inquiry?

  • 6
    12

    First time in Srilankan Airlines history they have made a record profit of over 100million USD for the month of Dec 2017.
    Seerasa along with vested interests are trying to destroy and character assassinate Mr Ratwatte.

    • 3
      0

      Who prepared accounts so quickly? Accounts for the month of Dec 2017 would not have taken into account monies owed to suppliers etc. Munson please quote your authority for your statement about the record profit,else it will have to be a case of “madagahana Mudson”

      • 2
        0

        Percy the dated, disturbed and pathetic

        “Who prepared accounts so quickly? Accounts for the month of Dec 2017 would not have taken into account monies owed to suppliers etc.”

        When did you qualified as an accountant?
        Haven’t you heard of Accrual concept in accounting practices? Please fact check before you start knocking the keyboard.

        Munson please quote your authority for your statement about the record profit,else it will have to be a case of “madagahana Mudson”

        • 0
          1

          Stupid Tamil Vedda
          You must be teaching your grandmother to suck eggs as well. Not every company uses accrual revenue /expenses in the management of their finances. What kind of business involving heavy capital expenditure engages in producing monthly p and l statements. That will be the accounting joke of the century. Will you and Mudson produce this statement of accounts for Dec 2017.beforewe go any further.

  • 6
    0

    lets wait for what the presidential commission has to say about srilankan
    there will be more about the past than the present

  • 11
    0

    A flight was diverted from Kuala Lumpur to Singapore just to pick up the former Chairman and his keep which cost the Srilankan government an additional 200,000 dollars

  • 5
    0

    Agree with himali. Time to go hhr, you have Brent bum sucking all this time and traveling the world using company money. Acting as if he is the best hr personal in the world- awards maniac! His coward nature and womanizing nature and money sucking nature willing not be covered from awards which are just for the sake! Your image is known by all the employees in the airline. Promoting people and employing people as he wish. Just because your English is good doesn’t mean you are the most knowledgeable man in the airline. I am sure all the unions will agree if he is to sacked.. as he is simply a flying high money sucking man. I am sure the dahanayaka woman will have to find another head to hang on or survive in the company when he is sacked :)

  • 4
    0

    To be honest. Today 40% directors and managers and senior posts are given by politicians and political influence.
    MR AND CO did all this ..
    Unqualified people with political influences got big jobs at expense of national and public interest .
    I can give you hundreds of examples for this .
    Vote JVP to free Sri lanka

  • 6
    0

    Agree that this CEO does not have the expertise in managing an airline as the company head. This requires someone with some commercial knowledge in managing an airline. Look at Malaysian Airlines who after all the problems managed to get the airline back on track with a foreign CEO. Emirates managed days were the best for the Airline and why not use the service of Peter Hill now resident in Sri Lanka. He has the respect of almost every employee as well as other travel & toursim associations in Sri Lanka.

    Reading some of the comments on current CEO certain decisions, agree purchase of old aircraft needs a lot of questions, but pull out of Italy was needed as it was only introduced in 2009 forced by the former president. However also disagree with some comments that France & Germany routes were bad. Thats what the current Management wanted the public to see and not the facts. these countries had the 3rd and 4th largest tourist arrivals to Sri Lanka.

    Today with lack of a direct air link the numbers are on a drop. The so called substitute airlines operating via their midde east points are no longer attractive to these European travellers who also have no faith on Midde east due to their own so called terrorism issues and want to avoid transit across the gulf points.

    Talk to the inside teams at the Airline who will confirm France & Germany sales were always an incerase year on year but so called costs allocated by the airline to these routes were always on increase.
    Government of Sri Lanka should never consider tourism and national airline as one if this can not be achieved.

    • 3
      4

      Peter Hill ? you must be joking.He was good as long as Tim Clark was there to hide behind.On his own nothing beyond being a Bar tender

      • 1
        4

        Why Peter Hill? He is too big for his shoes. Treats Sri Lankan’s with contempt and arrogance. Thinks that money can buy anything.

  • 4
    1

    The Board of Bufoons need a fall guy. We have seen it happen before. Do we not give the CEO credit for improving UL’s earnings.

  • 8
    0

    CT has a special anger towards Mr Ratwatte.
    Dont know the reason why why!

  • 3
    0

    Did not see anyone showing this sort of passion to fixing Sri Lankan Airlines when the Rajapakses wreaked havoc. Or back when Premedasa used AirLanka to fly carnations to UK either. Why this selective outrage? Remember how the Ambassador to US stole money? and also pocketed inaugural flight fees he charged from Sri LAnkans domiciled in USA and didn’t pay SriLankan for that flight to Mattala from Dubai? Remember dogs on planes?

  • 3
    2

    Suren holidaying in Melbourne? Now we know why the Melbourne/Colombo flight was started!
    Will his golden-handshape package include up to 26 First-class return to Melbourne for himself and 12 for his family?

  • 8
    0

    Head of HR is the next culprit to send home. His girl friend ( ex crew member’s wife ) managed to get her daughter promoted from Grade 5 to Grade 8 as HR executive !!! Her daughter is only 23 years old. When there are double degree holders only girl friend’s daughter get promoted.
    And we always wonder how his This girl friend hold her current position. Previous Manamala Chairman given that post under previous regime. Why no one sending these culprits home.
    He fired contract staff and treat people badly.

    • 4
      0

      And hhr gets awards and boast the world… He is a man who was into casinos and bankrupt. Landed a job at bam holdings and caught red handed while sleeping with the chairman’s daughter and sacked immediately. Long friend nishantha wickramasinghe recruited him and the story continues… “Nariyata kukullu dunna wagey “ hahaha

  • 1
    0

    Hopefully this Government would realize the importance of appointing a “Dynamic Leader” who can lead aggressively to resurrect this Public Venture. This airline had several CEOs and all except the very first General Manager, Mr. Kulasegaram from Singapore Airlines who headed the team of Singaporeans who established Air Lanka were miserable failures. Once during President Premadasa’s era, the the Board of Directors contracted with a “Head Hunting Firm” and recruited a CEO, an American and he too was failure. He even sued the airline and got away with $ 100000.00. Then after Emirates, there came another CEO during MR’s Regime and his performance still remains to be investigated and sued for fraud and mismanagement. Then came this much touted in the present day, of bringing back another ex CEO who is presently “Milking” the airline from London UK. It is a shame, that the Authorities cannot find a capable , aggressive and a dynamic LEADER to first “PUT THE HOUSE IN ORDER” from within Sri Lanka where we find an ARMY of such Professionals, of course, not mingling with Politicians; but show commendable performance in their respective professions. Now the OPPORTUNITY has arisen for the Authorities to act responsibly and attract the CORRECT TYPE of person who can deliver and make a turn around. but certainly NOT another STOOGE..

  • 5
    1

    This is for YAKKALA Simon, If you do not know the facts please refrain from misleading the readers here. The FRA-CMB was one of the lucrative money making route for SL airlines if not misused the revenue. I have travelled this route for more than 10 years and it was totally, I mean totally full every time I travelled. This is basically mishandling the money by the top idiots of the airline..

    • 1
      5

      A flight being full does not make it profitable. You may make running profits but overall you fail to grasp Accounting and COST/Benefits of flights. Fuel costs, gate costs, pilot salaries, cabin crew salaries are all factored in per flight per seat. Get tuition on these. Stop your crock.

  • 3
    2

    Mud Mud Mud its a known fact that the srilankan airlines was destroyed by none other than the former playboy so dont point finger at suren. He did his best and bought the airline to a stable standard.

  • 2
    3

    The rascals who are critizing in this forum are anti ratwatte. We can see that clearly.

  • 1
    5

    Who the hell claims (FALSELY) the European routes are profitable? You guys are lying. Suren cannot do what was done to UL systematically by the Rajapakses. They ruined the Airline CBK made profitable by partnering with EK. UL CANNOT be a long haul airline. There is no money there. The only European route that is profitable is the LHR-CMB-LHR route. Stop attacking this man without facts. If he did anything wrong, provide proof. This is like the fucking Harlem Witchhunt because you suddenly have the freedom to spew garbage after being mute during the Rajapakse years. Ask MR’s BIL questions. Where is he now? Where is Sajin Vaas now? In the lap of this regime.

  • 1
    4

    A flight being full does not make it profitable over the long haul; you also forget discounted tickets not covering operating costs. . You may make running profits but overall you fail to grasp Accounting and COST/Benefits of flights. Fuel costs, gate costs, pilot salaries, cabin crew salaries are all factored in per flight per seat. Get tuition on these. Stop your crock and low informed opinions.

    • 1
      0

      Brilliant facts yakkala yakadaya. There is a systematic witch hunt by the 3rd grade media headed by sakkili killi seerasa gutter media coolies to throw out Suren.
      After the former playboy and young prince treated the airline as prostitutes running into billions of losses

    • 3
      0

      Yakkala simon please get your facts correct..talk to the insiders who know much better and will tell you France & Germany made double digit growth on revenue year on year past 7-8 years. cost accounted for new air craft lease cost amounting to 4 times what was originally allocated to these flights will not help as no airline takes lease cost on operating cost. get your facts right as yes full flight means not a profit but highest ever prices charged by these countries had many high revenue generating clients. still doesnt mean Suren is the man for the job for sure!!!

  • 2
    0

    “A lie repeated often enough becomes the truth” and this is even more relevant in this post truth era. The profitability of Sri Lankan under Emirates management and the effectiveness of Peter Hill is one such post truth. This ‘fact’ which is not true has become gospel in the public mind through endless repetition. Rajeeva Jayaweera with his insider information has briefly mentioned this. I however rely on the annual reports published in the company website to comment on the period 1998/99 to 2007/08 the period under Emirates and Peter Hill.

    The aggregated sum of the reported Profit/Loss over this 10 year period is Rs 16.1 billion and prior year adjustments reported in these reports reduce it by Rs 1.6 billion, so net profit for the period can be calculated at Rs 14.5 billion- all good! But the devil is in the details, where do these profits ‘lie’? Rs 1.06 billion from disposal of Equant/SITA shares, Rs 6.53 billion from net surplus from insurance receipts after CAK terror attack, Rs 9.63 billion from selling of aircraft. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out whether Hill under Emirates ran the airline profitably or not

    The oft repeated Rs 4 billion profit in the last year of Emirates is a fallacy given that if not for the Rs 5.63 billion profit on asset sale, the result would have been a billion rupee loss. So bring back Emirates and Peter Hill eh

    • 0
      0

      If you buy the right planes, use properly, maintain in good value, sell it for good price, “is that not part of running an airline?” Can you tell how much profit was made by selling Airbuses to Pakistan? I read somewhere to sell a one billion Rs contract, they spent 12 Billion. How many years useful life of an aircraft like Airbus? How long is your experience of owning an Airline?

      Insurance companies pay the book value. Book value is the one decides whether an asset is making profit or loss. Further if an insurance company pays for you this year, they will charge more on the coming years and cause a higher operation cost. So when you add ten years together, insurance payment always make a loss. Insurance companies’ business is not “Rob Peter to Pay Paul”. They calculate their cost 1). The payouts for client 2.) Their staff’ Salary, 3). their profit-the ROI for their money. So they charge to you what they paid to you. If you really understand, start to explain why these are not appearing as profit for you- of cause not operating! Who else has a better record than Peter Hills in Lankawe? How much the investments grow in that time? Can you give me the link of a useful article Rajeewa Jayaweera ever wrote? Did Peter Hill propose to run a National Airline? Whether a National Airline can be run profitably under the autocratic Lankawe arrogant Chitanta-Yahapalanaya is ever evaluated? Can you tell me if Peter Hill recommended to Build Matala Raja Bachan Naked International Airport? If you make bloody idiot decision you lick your wound, not Peter Hill. He ran it with a minor profit. All others bankrupted the country.

    • 0
      0

      What happened to DEW’s COPE report on 230 loss making corporations? Peter Hill has stolen it too? Utter lame duck excuse after using the National Carrier to pick up families from European drinking parties, after using the airline to transport Pet dogs and Sharks, after using the National Carrier to pick girl Friends ( Is Airbus plane a Lamborghini?) after robbing all the left out assets, still reluctant to close it and find out another cow to milk.
      You people loot and eat Tamils’ property if there is chance for a pogrom; otherwise loot and eat the government Corporations.
      Sorry man, poor covering up.

  • 2
    3

    Disgusting headline and nothing but a clear reflection on how low this website has sunk. If this was a company the CEO should be shot ! Unfortunately I used to contribute to this bucket of garbage in the past.

    However it remains the domain of a highly immature, vindictive, populist young man. Unfortunately or fortunately, there is no legislation in this Country about hate mail on the internet.

    Why bring Charitha Ratwatte into it and not mention Suren’s qualifications or credentials ? He has a degree from Embry Riddle University in Arizona (google it !) and is a published author on various Aviation Topics. He is no where near 60 years old either !

    • 2
      0

      If this was a company the CEO should be shot ! What can be done to the those CEOs who are responsible for the company to lose in Billions? The ticks are not leaving even after the cow is dead!

      Apparently a hero rep of a Royals who made the country’s Media men safety 174 out of 179.

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