TOT prepares to cut executives, costs

TOT Plc has outlined a sweeping overhaul of its management structure with the aim of bringing an end to impractical practices and the tradition of political intervention in the financially ailing state enterprise.

It is also preparing to submit its turnaround plan to the State Enterprises Policy Commission or superboard to focus on six core business areas after the expiry of its concession revenue.

The six are basic telecommunications infrastructure, telecom towers, international calls, fixed-line telephone and internet services, cloud computing and internet gateways.

TOT now has 12 senior executive vice-presidents and 30 executive vice-presidents, said a board member.

The state agency has been widely criticised for its complicated management structure. Many executives were promoted as a result of a hidden agenda, it is claimed.

"It's time now for TOT to create a new organisational structure to increase efficiency and performance as well as eliminate political influence," the source said.

The source suggests TOT executives be rotated into appropriate roles to put the right men into the right jobs while giving other executives the opportunity to develop skills in a variety of jobs.

The number of executives should be cut to reduce costs.

TOT is one of four ailing state enterprises that were ordered by the junta-appointed superboard to conduct due diligence of their assets and liabilities by October.

They must submit their financial status and turnaround plans to the superboard.

The source admitted TOT had been governed by many influential figures from political parties and business, resulting in biased judgement and decisions to favour certain people.

Its board last week agreed to set up eight committees to oversee all critical issues and conduct business plans.

TOT is likely to post an operating loss of almost 10 billion baht this year. The state enterprise reported an accumulated loss of 1.7 billion baht year-on-year in the first quarter.

The heavy loss was due mainly to TOT's hefty fixed operating costs.

Under the Frequency Allocation Act of 2010, it has not booked any revenue related to concessions since last Dec 20. Such revenue must go to state coffers.

Last year, TOT posted a net profit of 4.3 billion baht from operations including concession revenue.

President Yongyuth Wattanasin last week appointed Wudthidanai Thitakasikorn, now the senior executive vice-president for wireless operations, to become a deputy president.

In another development, Kittisak Sriprasert, chief executive of CAT Telecom Plc, said he had informed some of the agency's new board directors that he would step down soon.

"I'm in talks with the CAT board about my resignation, and the process is expected to be settled next month," he said.

Mr Kittisak has served as CAT's boss since March 2012.

CAT expects a net profit of 1 billion baht on revenue of 46 billion this year.

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