Armando Almeida replaced Zeinal Bava at the helm of Portugal Telecom on August 18th this year and is promising great things in a company where he aims to change the culture and become focused on the customer.
Zeinal Bava skipped off to Oi in Brazil as soon as the storm broke about PT’s massive loan to Espirito Santo’s Rioforte, a loan which the Rioforte failed to repay as it scuttled off under the safety of the protection of Luxembourg's legal system.
Almeida today said today that he has identified three priority areas for PT's future - the client, finances and the corporate culture.
"I will make a presentation of my plan within 100 days. I currently am visiting all parts of PT. There are three important areas for any leader: customers, the financial part and the culture within the company" said Almeida.
The head of Portugal Telecom declared that the company "has to have the customer as number one."
This revelation will be a great comfort to existing customers whose experience with the monopoly telecoms supplier to date has been characterised by frustration, deliberate confustication, rudeness, an inability to solve simple problems, an internal complaints procedure designed to belittle and confuse customers who simply want a service that works at a competitive price.
The desire from PT customers for a billing system that from time to time runs parallel with reality, rather than one veering off into uncharted galactic territory, is high on the wish list.
Finance is another priority for Armando Almeida, who is faced with a dark void in the accounts where €900 million of shareholders' cash should be sitting. In 100 days we may hear how he will replace this money.
"PT to be a strong company needs to continue to invest in Portugal and the country needs Portugal Telecom because it is a leader, not only in telecommunications, but in many other areas" said Almeida who appears to have little experience of the public’s perception of and attitude towards probably the nation's most reviled telecoms supplier.
Almeida does have a place in his heart for Portugal’s small and medium enterprises which are to receive his special attention, "SMEs currently are undergoing a very difficult phase and I think it is necessary to help them. They will have a fundamental role in PT" said the company leader, noting that "more than 95% of companies in Portugal are SMEs" and that "they have many employees."
"We need them," he concluded, reversing years of the more prevalent PT corporate attitude of “who needs them...?”