Czech PM sees more changes atop ČEZ

Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas says other top heads at Prague-listed ČEZ could roll in the wake of CEO Martin Romanˆ’s departure

Politics & Policy|Energy & Green Biz
Chris Johnstone | 19.09.2011
Prime Minister Petr Nečas keen to ring in changes at top of ČEZ

Czech Prime Minister Petr Nečas (Civic Democrat, ODS) has hit out at mercenary managers at the state’s most important company, Prague-listed power giant ČEZ, saying that changes at the top should continue, especially ahead of the planned expansion of the Temelín nuclear power plant.

In an interview with the daily Mladá fronta Dnes, Nečas said of some ČEZ managers that: “Today they manage an energy company, and in three years will manage a Europe-wide network of luxury fashion boutiques.” 

‘Today they manage an energy company and in three years will manage a Europe-wide network of luxury fashion boutiques.’

Nečas was speaking following the resignation of Martin Roman as CEO and ČEZ board chairman last week. He said he did not count  Roman as among those criticized managers but said he could have been influenced by such people around him.

“These people are perhaps more interested in the current price of electricity and what affect it has on the price of shares, for which they have options. From this perspective, it is perhaps more logical for them to tend towards more foreign acquisitions, perhaps in renewable sources, which are subsidized, highly regulated and which are a comfortable and no risk investment,” he added.

Nečas said more changes should take place at the top of the near 70-percent state-owned power company. He said that Roman’s departure (although he will still remain as the head of the ČEZ supervisory board) would draw a line under the company’s fast foreign expansion and would concentrate its attention on what he described as the main task in hand, the expansion of the Temelín nuclear power plant. 

Bartuška’s role

In an earlier interview carried on the Czech government website, Nečas said he counted on a change in the decision making surrounding the choice of contractor to build two new reactors at the Temelín nuclear power plant, which would mean “a bigger influence and greater role for the government representative for Temelín, ambassador [Václav] Bartuška. ”

Roman was replaced as CEO of ČEZ on Thursday by company number two and former Chief Operating Officer, Daniel Beneš. “I had a quite long discussion with Mr. Beneš concerning the development of ČEZ and completion of Temelín and for that reason I regard him as a competent person,” Nečas said. He confirmed that Roman was aware that he would not have had his tenure extended when it expired in February next year. 

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