Poland's new government ups campaign to take control at state companies

By bne IntelliNews December 3, 2015

The Polish treasury ministry has installed new supervisory board members at three of the countries state-controlled power companies, it was announced on December 3. Meanwhile, it's preparing a slew of other changes, according to reports, which has some company heads jumping before they're pushed.

The executive boards of Tauron, Enea and Energa have all seen replacements. The changes are the latest in a what is developing as a series from the new government of Law and Justice (PiS). Changes in the management teams of many state-controlled companies are expected.

As is tradition in Poland after a change of the government, many managers of Poland's state giants are thought likely to be replaced following PiS' victory in the October election. Media reports claim that the ruling party - which holds a statist economic stance - plans something of a bloodbath.

Four of the eight members of the supervisory board at Tauron have been replaced. The current management at the utility was only installed by the previous Civic Platform (PO) government in November, in a bid to help push its strategy to rescue the Polish coal industry. The treasury also replaced board members at Energa and Enea. The management teams at those companies are also speculated to be for the chop. 

The moves follow swiftly on news that similar action is likely at the country's main gas utility. Shareholders are due to vote at a PGNiG EGM in late December on a treasury motion to make changes in the supervisory board.

Meanwhile, the list of mooted personnel changes keeps growing. PiS is reportedly planning to oust Jacek Krawiec as CEO of refiner PKN Orlen with MP and former treasury minister Wojciech Jasinski, TVN24 reported on December 3.

The same day, Pawel Tamborski, CEO of the Warsaw Stock Exchange and a former deputy finance minister under the previous PO government quit, claiming he is not prepared to play political games. He follows Jakub Karnowski out of the door, after he resigned as head of rail group PKP in late November. The names of potential successor's at the Warsaw bourse are not yet known.

Other companies where changes are reportedly looming include the country's biggest lender PKO BP, insurer PZU, refiner Lotos, flag carrier LOT and chemical group Azoty.


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