The chief executive of Poland’s largest utility PGE, which is majority-owned by the state, should to be chosen before the end of December. That is what Treasury Minister Włodzimierz Karpiński told reporters last week. However, a day earlier Polish Radio reported that the CEO had already been picked and that it’s Marek Woszczyk, who has headed the Energy Regulatory Office since 2011.
Speculation heated up when Mr Woszczyk resigned from his post as the watchdog’s head a day after the reports about his future position appeared. Mr Karpiński said that he wasn’t sure if Mr Woszczyk was at all being considered for the post of PGE CEO, but called him a “professional.”
“He knows the sector, he is pro-state oriented, but he also cares about the energy market,” the treasury minister said. When asked about a possible conflict of interest, Mr Karpiński remarked that he “doesn’t mind if professionals manage companies.”
According to Dziennik Gazeta Prawna, other candidates in the competition for PGE’s CEO include Paweł Skowroński, who was deputy CEO at the company until mid-2012, and an unnamed management board member at one of PGE’s subsidiaries.
The company’s previous chief executive, Krzysztof Kilian, resigned from his post in November. Reports suggest that the main reason behind his decision was that he did not want to follow through with the company’s Opole power plant extension project because he felt it would be unprofitable, while the government pushed for it to be carried out, since it views the initiative as crucial for the country’s energy security.
In early December, PGE signed agreements with the contractors of the two 900 MW coal-fired units in Opole. Construction at the site is expected to start in February 2014.
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