Chairman of the Board of Management - Ex-Borealis boss Stern becomes the new boss of OMV

The supervisory board of the oil and gas group OMV has elected the former head of the petrochemicals group Borealis, Alfred Stern, as the new CEO. As of September 1, Stern will take over from Rainer Seele, who will be leaving the company at the end of August, announced the OMV on Tuesday evening after an extraordinary meeting of the control committee.

The 56-year-old Stern was most recently responsible for the newly created Chemicals & Materials division on the Executive Board since April. The move to the OMV Board of Management took place after the mother had increased her stake in her chemical subsidiary from 36 to 75 percent. Stern is now taking over the helm at OMV for a period of three years with an option to extend it for a further two years, OMV announced.

"Driving forward the decarbonization of our business"

"OMV is at the beginning of a major transformation in the direction of chemicals and the circular economy, in which a large portfolio has to be managed along a far-reaching value chain - from the well to the refineries and filling stations to high-quality chemical products and recycling," said Supervisory Board Chairman Mark Garrett. With his professional competence and international management experience as well as experience as CEO in the chemical industry, Stern is the ideal candidate.

Stern in turn promised, "We will continue to drive the decarbonization of our business and actively use these changes across the entire product portfolio, including the circular economy, in order to continue to grow profitably and sustainably." The energy transition will probably change all markets and sectors, albeit in each case different..

Power struggles for alignment

A new appointment was necessary because CEO Seele does not want to extend his contract, which will expire at the end of June 2022. The native German wants to retire for family reasons. The new CEO must first and foremost bring Austria's largest industrial group back into calmer waters. Soul, who switched from BASF subsidiary Wintershall to OMV in 2015, most recently did internal Power struggles over future strategy to accomplish.

The studied chemist was largely responsible for the development of the new chemicals division of OMV. The environmental protection organization Greenpeace accuses OMV of spying. From an economic point of view, after the corona-related severe losses last year, Seele recently returned the group to profitability. Above all, the purchase of a majority stake in the petrochemicals group Borealis led to a surge in growth. (Reuters)