Four Senior Executives Depart From Ascendant

October 3, 2018

BELCO’s parent company, the Ascendant Group, announced the “departure” of four senior executives — Denton Williams, Michael Daniel, Carol Ross-DeSilva & Zehena Davis — saying that ”two have resigned and two positions were made redundant.”

The four executives, combined, had been with the company for over 80 years and held the positions of Senior Vice President of Ascendant and BELCO COO, Ascendant SVP and Chief Strategic Development Officer, Ascendant VP Organisational Excellence and Vice President, Human Resources of Ascendant.

A spokesperson said, “Ascendant Group Limited today announced the departure of four senior executives from the organisation, two have resigned and two positions were made redundant, effective Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018.

“Denton Williams resigned from his position as Senior Vice President of Ascendant and Chief Operating Officer of Bermuda Electric Light Company Limited [BELCO].

“Mr. Williams joined BELCO as an apprentice in 1989 as part of the BELCO apprenticeship programme. He has worked in the plant as a qualified electrician and foreman and then transferred to the new Operations Centre as an Automation Technologist.

“During this time, he pursued a Bachelor of Science in Information Technology and continued his formal education by obtaining his MBA from Walden University and attending the Stanford Executive Program.

“Over the years, Mr. Williams pursued more advanced management roles within the Company culminating in him becoming SVP of Ascendant and COO of BELCO in 2012. Along the way Mr. Williams has imparted his wisdom to the next generation of leaders at Ascendant.

“Mr. Williams has contributed a tremendous amount of energy and knowledge to make Ascendant what it is today – positioning future leaders of the Company for success.

“Also leaving the Company is Michael D. Daniel, Ascendant SVP and Chief Strategic Development Officer.

“Mr. Daniel joined BELCO 29 years ago as an apprentice and later became a Grade 1 electrical fitter in the Transmission and Distribution Department. His desire for continuous learning led him to obtain a Bachelor of Engineering Degree [BEng] from Loughborough University [UK] with first class honours as well as complete the Harvard Business School [USA] Executive Management Program in 2010.

“Over his 29 years, Mr. Daniel has served in various technical, management and leadership positions. His passion for strategy and creating sustainable value in energy and infrastructure related businesses led to the role of Senior Vice President in 2012 and Chief Strategy Officer of Ascendant in 2016.

“Carol Ross-DeSilva, Ascendant VP, Organisational Excellence has also left the Company.

“Ms. Ross-DeSilva played a critical role in many parts of the business for over 23 years. Most recently as Vice President of Organisational Excellence. Over the last two years she has successfully implemented the platform for understanding and enhancing our business processes, which has been of great benefit to our power generation business.

“Ms. Ross-DeSilva is a strong advocate for the development of women and proudly founded and led the Ascendant Women’s Initiative Network [AWIN]. Through her efforts and hard work, she has impacted many of the women across the Company through mentoring and arranging guest speakers and panels to facilitate discussion on provoking issues to enhance the Company, community and self.

“Zehena Davis resigned from her position as Vice President, Human Resources of Ascendant.

“Ms. Davis joined the company four years ago as Vice President of Human Resources and is credited with implementing our talent and performance management system, Talent Hub.

“She contributed tremendous knowledge and energy to our organisation and positioning future leaders of the Company for success. Ms. Davis is a highly regarded HR professional who developed excellent relationships within the Company during the time she served the Group.”

Mr. Durfy — who was appointed CEO in 2016 — said: “Each of these individuals should be proud of the impact that they have made on our employees and the organisation over the years.

“The Board of Directors and I are grateful to these very talented people for their service to the Company and wish them the very best in their future endeavours.”

The company was in news last month, prompted by the circumstances surrounding the loss of three other jobs at Ascendant, and we are attempting to seek additional information on these departures and will update if able.

Update 6.33pm: We sought clarity on which positions were made redundant, as the company said two were, and the company confirmed that the positions held by Mike Daniel and Carol Ross-DeSilva were made redundant.

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Comments (24)

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  1. What says:

    I hear they are resigning because there is a rumored big change in pensions and benefits that will be announced shortly. That and outsourcing of HR and other areas. We will all be watching to see what happens next!

    • Poppa says:

      Who in their right mind would resign during these tough times? Why would you sacrifice your pension, health insurance, vacation pay and so on? If they were made redundant or fired or laid off they would have gotten so much more.

      Hope they saved their pennies or have a plan B!

      • Not as it seems says:

        If you go quietly we will pay you a bonus of $xxx,xxx or you are made redundant and you get half of that amount. However, if you are made redundant you can file a lawsuit for constructive dismissal. So you play the odds. However; when you take on a new CEO and force a Board’s hand they have to choose. Guess your Bermudian Board chose the ex-pat Canadian CEO. Ummm do I smell PRC coming?

    • Facts says:

      That is NOT why they resigned.

  2. mixitup says:

    Why did the VP Of H.R Resign I wonder? Ms. Davis was indeed a Bermudian professional with all the experience that any Senior Exec should have. What a loss.

    • Facts says:

      Her job could be done for half the price. It is all part of the reason why electricity is so high in Bermuda. You have too many senior level people doing the jobs of non senior level people getting paid rediculous amounts of $$

      • Rockfish # 2 says:

        Your comment re senior level people is correct, it also applies to the Civil Service.

        • Make a New Plan Stan says:

          The Civil Service is definitely top heavy and bloated in the middle as well.

      • Clear as Day says:

        Totally agree. Belco needs to get rid of half the staff there. They old just like the engines, lazy, inefficient, and costing us the bill payer money!

      • Hi there says:

        It’s a corporate ladder. People who have been there for 20-30 years to help the company growth, so they should be awarded by the size of the company. If corporations treat employees like you said, I can get that done for half price, then no talented people would want to work for them. In general, the common reason that top executive employees quit is the toxic working environment.

  3. Res says:

    A lot more to follow !

    • Clear as Day says:

      hopefully. Get rid of all those taking advantage of the system!

  4. 2 Bermudas says:

    Burt says de economy is booming. He must be drinking de titty milk too!! Ha ha ha!!

    Very sorry for the people affected. Best of luck!

    • inna says:

      Breast milk, get it right!

      • Rockfish # 2 says:

        The Minister called it”titty milk” and he is always right! So there.

        • 2 Bermudas says:

          Yes, let’s see if de Minister can turn ‘Flint Michigan brown water’ into clear water. Maybe de titty milk has magic powers! Ha ha ha!!

  5. Charlly X says:

    Hmmmm sounds very peculiar!! And it Smells worse than bad diesel ! We will see what’s in the rinse !!

  6. Coffee says:

    For lack of a better description , Ascendant Group appears to flip a switch to electrocute talented Bermudians amongst its executives.

    Probably time for the rank and file to Power Up !

    • Family Man says:

      As Burch holds a press conference to announce the apparent firing of two senior Bermudians in the BLDC.

  7. Soon there will hardly be any jobs available. Where are people suppose to find jobs. Maybe the hardworking PLP will suddenly create a bunch of jobs. The so called party For the people. They have to create a job. Carry on party people your doing a terrible job and the economy will only get wore Burt.

  8. Coffee says:

    Ascendant means descendent for talented Bermudians.

    • Clear as Day says:

      Ascendant means reduced operating costs so that the consumer can pay less (which wont happen over night so dont get too excited).

      Why would a company pay millions of dollars for rolls that could be absorbed by existing staff? This has nothing to do with “Bermudians” and everything to do with business.

      If you cry wolf of “poor Bermudians” then you know NOTHING about business.

  9. Debbie Kay says:

    Bermudians 4 Bermudians, pray Bermuda as you labor for a better tomorrow for the community. It should be all about unity. Just saying.

  10. Y-Gurl says:

    That’ll save a few million a year