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    Kiev's dismissal of CEO 'a return to the old days': Naftogaz


Andriy Kobolev was sacked by the government after reporting 2020 losses.

by: William Powell

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Kiev's dismissal of CEO 'a return to the old days': Naftogaz

Ukraine's cabinet of ministers has sacked the CEO of state Naftogaz Ukrainy Andriy Kobolev, the company said late April 28. Earlier that day the company reported a loss of 19bn hryvnias ($680mn) on its 2020 trading. He will be replaced by Yuriy Vitrenko, a former Naftogaz business strategist, with immediate effect.

Kobolev was not due to leave until his contract, renewed a year ago, expires March 22, 2024. However, the government suspended the supervisory board, the body that is empowered to take such actions, and removed him directly. Kobolev had held the post since 2014.

The company said "the way in which a range of decisions were made today regarding the governing bodies of Naftogaz demonstrates a reversion to the practice of manual control of state-owned enterprises." It said the dismissal was a "violation of the basic principles of corporate governance of state-owned enterprises."

Defending the results, it added: "Despite the crisis and the increase in counterparties' debts due to loopholes created by state regulation, the company provided 141bn hryvnias of revenues to the state budget in 2020, which accounts for 13% of the state revenues last year."