The board of directors of the Fiji Hardwood Corporation Limited (FHCL) has made some important changes in the leadership of the company as part of the Bainimarama Government’s effort to modernise the Fijian mahogany industry, introduce transparency, and make it profitable.
These actions follow recent reviews of reports and plans submitted by The Forestland Group (TFG), the international forestry management consultancy company engaged by the FHCL Board to assist with the restructure of the organisation.
Specifically, the board has terminated the employment of Acting CEO Simione Sigaca, Acting CFO Mohammed Rafiq, and Personnel Officer Netani Koto.
Their departure reflects the need to re-launch FHCL as a dynamic company that can compete profitably in the international marketplace, build the Fijian mahogany brand globally, and effectively and transparently manage the nation’s mahogany resource using international standards.
Very soon, FHCL’s senior management will have to lead the company through significant changes in the way it conducts its business. The board believes the company needs a new leadership team for that task, one with new, innovative ideas, free of the antiquated systems and unprofitable operations of the past.
The board will shortly be seeking a new leadership team that will be able to implement a new vision for the company and lead employees to achieve that vision.
The new CEO will be responsible for ensuring the commercial success and sustainability of Fiji’s mahogany plantations and building a strong brand for Fiji Pure Mahogany under the direction of the Mahogany Industry Council.
A number of temporary assignments have been made to ensure proper stewardship over the mahogany forests and manufacturing yards in the interim.
The Vanua Levu Plantation Manager for FHCL, Mr Lavisai Seroma, has been temporarily relocated to Suva and appointed Acting General Manager of Forests, effective immediately.
A senior accounts officer, Ms Shobna Lata, from FHCL’s Navutu manufacturing yard is being transferred to Suva to work in FHCL’s head office.
The reform of Fiji’s mahogany industry has been a high priority of the Bainimarama Government. This action represents another step in the process of creating a mahogany industry that is much more profitable and sustainable, provides more quality employment for Fijians, and adds prestige to the Fijian mahogany brand.