The ex-politician (whose government is blamed for ignoring warnings of economic overheating) will earn a salary of around 100 000 LVL, around what outgoing chairman Gundars Strautmanis, a telecommunications profession, earned.
Also named to the board were Jānis Bergs, the head of FMS, a Latvian enterprise management software company and an IT professional as well as Uģis Zemturis, a former banker.
Of the three appointments, Kalvītis is a purely political gesture under pressure from the government coalition partner, the TP. The former prime minister has business experience in dairy farming. With the TP enjoying "popularity" of around 1.7 %, the appointment is generating a huge public uproar (nearly 1000 comments on the delf.lv portal). In times of austerity, the granting of what appears to be a huge "political pension" to 43-year-old Kalvitis is seen as a example of the complete political insensitivity and "friendship corruption" (looking after our folks/savējie) by the political elite.
The appointment will also bring public attention back to Lattelecom after a period of quiet when the once-monopoly "Great Satan" of telecommunications in Latvia has built up a good, relatively low-key reputation and stayed out of controversial headlines about privatization models and the like. It will cast an unncessary aura of political corruption over what should be a company running like a competitive private enterprise judged by its service to customers.