ART shakes up its executive ranks

An ART spokesperson says, however, that the reorg and the dismissal of around 85 employees are nothing to do with the company’s World Cup subscription woes.

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By  David Ingham Published  June 17, 2002

An ART spokesperson has told that a recent management shakeup and the dismissal of around 85 employees are nothing to do with problems that the company’s ADD unit was having with viewers’ World Cup subscriptions.

Instead, Monal Zeidan, MD of Zeidan Consultancy, ADD’s PR agent, says that the management shakeup is, “a routine thing, not related to the World Cup.”

The dismissal of 85 sales staff at the Jeddah office, he says, is related to irregularities with the distribution of smart cards. Pressed on what ‘irregularities’ might mean, he said that an internal investigation is being conducted into the matter.

Stories first emerged on June 11 when the Arabic language Middle East Online reported that 100 staff were dismissed in Jeddah and suggested that the dismissals might be World Cup related.

ADD’s World Cup problems began when some viewers taking out subscriptions to the tournament found their connections didn’t work. The problems were attributed to a combination of technical problems with the Nilesat satellite and viewers not knowing how to use decoders properly. Viewers that could not get their channels swamped ADD call centres and were unable to get through to an attendant who could advise them on how to fix the problems.

ADD was quick to apologise publicly and issued a statement on June 11 saying it had successfully dealt with viewers’ problems.

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