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    OMV appoints new CEO


Alfred Stern has a background in petrochemicals – a business that OMV is eager to expand in.

by: Joseph Murphy

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Natural Gas & LNG News, Europe, Corporate, Corporate governance, News By Country, Austria

OMV appoints new CEO

Austria's OMV has appointed Alfred Stern as its new executive chairman and CEO effective from September 1 this year, with the oil company's current boss Rainer Seele departing sooner than previously thought.

OMV confirmed in late April that Seele, who has been at the firm's helm since 2015, would not seek a one-year extension of his term of office beyond June 30, 2022. He will instead resign on August 31, 2021, "by mutual agreement," OMV said on June 1.

His replacement Stern has a background in petrochemicals, having served as CEO of OMV's Borealis business since 2018. OMV is eager to build up its petrochemicals operations, banking on strong demand growth in the coming years, while moving away from crude oil sales. As part of this strategy, it raised its stake in Borealis from 36% to 75% through a $4.7bn deal with the UAE's Mubadala in October last year.

"OMV stands on the cusp of a major transformation in the direction of chemicals and a circular economy," OMV's chairman of the supervisory board, Mark Garrett, commented. Stern's "specialist expertise as well as his international management and CEO experience in the chemical industry make him the ideal candidate to lead this transformation."

Garrett thanked Seele "for his achievements in reshaping the company" and "significantly increasing profitability and thereby laying the best foundations for the transformation currently underway."

"The energy transition will lead to changes in the backdrop of the various markets and sectors, but they will be different and come at different speeds," Stern said. "We will actively drive the decarbonisation of our business, and we will be proactive in utilising the respective changes across the entire product portfolio including circular economy in order to successfully continue our profitable and sustainable growth."

Stern has been appointed for a three-year term, with an extension option for a further two years.