Liddell no top CEO - workers
Workers at the Kinleith pulp and paper mill are incensed that their boss, CHH chief executive Chris Liddell, is one of three contenders for the title of executive of the year.
“Chris Liddell has created an almighty mess,” said union advocate Mike Sweeney.
“Not only has he destablised the Kinleith workforce with his crazy plans for restructuring, he’s also driven down the company share price, costing ordinary New Zealanders thousands of dollars.”
Mr Liddell has been named with Auckland International Airport CEO John Goulter and Fletcher Building boss Ralph Waters as the three finalists for the Deloitte/Management Magazine Top 200 Awards executive of the year award.
The CEO of CHH for the past three years, Mr Liddell has just announced that he’s leaving to take up a position with CHH’s major shareholder, International Paper, in Connecticut, amid media speculation that IP is lining up for a full takeover of CHH.
Mr Sweeney said that the EPMU had repeatedly shot holes in the company’s claims that contracting out much of the work at the Kinleith mill would save it millions of dollars. Workers had proposed alternatives that closely matched the targeted savings, but the company was ideologically hell-bent on its own course.
“Mr Liddell is just another cost accountant fixated with cutting costs with no view of growing the business,” Mr Sweeney said.
“He hasn’t been prepared to do the hard work for real workplace reform, of creating a culture where managers and workers work together for the good of the company.”
Mr Sweeney said that it was interesting Mr Liddell was going “back to his roots” in IP’s finance department, and hadn’t been given an operational role.