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Search begins for new CEO of OMV

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Search begins for new CEO of OMV
OMV CEO Gerhard Roiss puts his coat on. Photo: APA (Techt)
09:12 CEST+02:00
Austrian oil and gas firm OMV Tuesday said its chief executive, Gerhard Roiss, will step down in June next year -- earlier than planned -- after the company's shares lost more than a quarter of their value over three months.

"Today, the supervisory board of OMV Aktiengesellschaft and Gerhard Roiss have agreed that Gerhard Roiss resigns from his position as chairman of the executive board and CEO as of June 30, 2015," a statement said.

It said the company had "initiated the process to identify suitable candidates for the succession as CEO of OMV", according to a report from Agence France-Presse (AFP).

The decision was announced after a 10-hour meeting of the board.

The shares of OMV, Austria's state-owned oil company, have fallen sharply on the Vienna stock exchange since July, from 33 euros to 24 euros at the end of trade on Tuesday.

In the first half of 2014, OMV's net profits fell by 25 percent due to lower refining margins, a weaker US dollar and political instability in Libya and Yemen.

It recorded net profits of 1.16 billion euros ($1.47 billion) in 2013, a 15 percent drop over the previous year. But turnover was stable at 42.41 billion euros.

The Austrian government holds a 31.5 percent stake in the company while the Gulf state of Abu Dhabi is the second-largest shareholder with 24.9 percent equity.

“OMV is in an exceptionally challenging situation,” Rudolf Kemler, the head of Austria’s state-assets agency, OeIAG, and chairman of OMV’s board said in an e-mailed statement to Bloomberg. “The environment in the core markets is fundamentally different to the assumptions used when the strategy was setup in 2011.”

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