For some time relations have been deteriorating between Luiz Guilherme Schymura, director-general of Anatel, and his colleagues on the board of directors as well as Communications Minister Juarez Quadros. Now they?re apparently on the verge of breakdown. Sources close to the Presidency of the Republic say Mr Schymura will be persuaded to step down. If he proves reluctant to do so voluntarily, he will be removed from office by presidential decree and replaced by Antônio Valente, his current deputy. The law that created Anatel prohibits summary dismissal of directors, so he would remain on the board unless he resigned his seat. Another problem is that the same decree nominated Mr Schymura to the board and as director-general.
In a recent interview with PAY-TV News, Juarez Quadros admitted having advised Mr Schymura to change his style and pay more attention to the board of Anatel. Sources say the minister last week began pressing him to step down voluntarily. However, in an interview published Sunday, September 8, by O Estado de S. Paulo, a leading national daily, Mr Schymura said he would like to stay on until the end of his term. Little is known of the reasons for the deterioration in his relations with his fellow-directors of Anatel, Minister Quadros and President Cardoso, except that they center on his style of work and reliance on personal aides rather than regular consultations with the board.
This self-sufficiency (or isolation, as some call it) came to the fore at a recent meeting of CITEL in Washington, DC, where Mr Schymura reportedly caused embarrassment by arranging to have parallel meetings on key issues such as digital TV without the participation of other Anatel directors. Indeed, the Brazilian delegation to CITEL included only Mr Schymura?s direct advisers. No one was invited along from other areas of Anatel. Relations between Mr Schymura and the private sector are apparently going from bad to worse as well. With few exceptions, business leaders are critical about ineffectual public hearings and insufficient attention to their concerns on Mr Schymura?s part. President Cardoso himself is said to be dissatisfied with Mr Schymura, although it isn?t clear why. Renato Guerreiro, Anatel?s first director-general, announced his decision to retire after colliding with the Central Bank over criticisms of the telecoms model in place in a report produced by BCP. Mr Schymura was invited to replace Mr Guerreiro by the presidential chief of staff. At the time, Communications Minister Juarez Quadros said they had only met once.