Keith Fenech, the CEO of the private-public partnership agency the Central Business District Foundation (CBDF), who also held a position with one of its clients in a clear conflict of interest, has been relieved from his position according to information provided to The Shift.
Fenech was a consultant at Methode Electronics – a client of the Foundation he headed – for 19 years. The Foundation manages the Mriehel Business Park, where Methode is located.
The Foundation, which falls under the political responsibility of the Economy Ministry, has been directed to terminate the role of Fenech as CEO and find a replacement. A public call has now been made to recruit a new boss.
Industry sources told The Shift that while some of the members of the board of the Foundation, representing the private industry, were lobbying for Fenech to be kept on board, he has now started a full-time role with Methode Electronics and a decision was taken to terminate Fenech’s double role.
Initially, William Wait, the government-appointed chairman of the Foundation, defended Fenech’s conflicting role, saying there was no conflict since Fenech’s role at Methode (consultant) and that of the Foundation (CEO) was different.
The conflict of interest was raised because Methode Electronics is a client of the same Foundation that Fenech used to manage.
The Foundation has issued a call now to replace Fenech.
The same conflicting role was made worse earlier this year when Fenech was also appointed CEO of Indis Malta, the government agency responsible for all of Malta’s industrial facilities.
Again, Fenech was given the nod to remain on Methode’s books while working for the government in two different positions: Central Business District Foundation and INDIS Malta.
Following several reports by The Shift, it was announced that Fenech would be moving on to a full-time position with Methode and leaving his various roles within the government.