RACSA president reneges on resignation

July 9, 2010

 

At the conclusion of one of the most tumultuous weeks in company history, things appeared to fall back in place at Radiográfica Costarricense S.A. (RACSA) by the end of last week – at least for the time being.
 
Three days after announcing his resignation Monday, RACSA’s general manager Alberto Bermúdez told fellow employees Thursday night that he intends to remain in his position.
 
“There are many options to be considered at this time to strengthen the company of RACSA,” he said.
 
“I am hopeful and convinced that, in a coordinated manner, RACSA can continue to serve a valuable function for the country alongside (Costa Rican Electricity Institute) ICE.”
 
Bermúdez’s about-face came at the end of a week that rattled the foundations of RACSA and the 320 employees that work for the Internet and telecom company. On Monday, Pablo Ureña, a member of the RACSA board of directors, released a public statement detailing ICE’s plans to downgrade RACSA from a relatively autonomous telecom company to the status of a “simple customer service company” under ICE that would “no longer offer its own services.” Currently RACSA, a subsidiary of ICE since 1964, provides Internet and telecommunications service to more than 120,000 clients in Costa Rica.
 
Eduardo Doryan, executive president of ICE, denied the plans to absorb and downgrade RACSA Tuesday. However, Doryan acknowledged the institute expects to make many “technological, regulatory and personnel changes” in the upcoming year.
 
The passing of the Central American Free-Trade Agreement with the U.S. (CAFTA) in 2009 opened the telecom and cell phone markets to competition. Prior to CAFTA, ICE (including RACSA) had been the sole Costa Rican telecom provider – save for Amnet, which has ICE’s authorization to provide Internet service.
 
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