PKN Orlen dismissed Chief Executive Igor Chalupec, replacing him with Vice-President Piotr Kownacki, company said in its statement on Thursday. The company gave no reason for the move but Polish Prime Minister Jaroslaw Kaczynski suggested the grounds for the sacking of Chalupec went beyond pure business considerations. When asked for an evaluation of new CEO Kownacki, the prime minister highlighted the issues of national security.
Our view: Since we saw a permanent pressure on PKN share price in the past few months due to the uncertainty regarding the potential removal of Mr Chalupec, we finally welcome the decision which put an end to this. Now we see a big challenge for the new CEO how to keep PKN relatively independent from politics. We also suspect changes to PKN strategy, what are expected to be announced in February. We hope that unlike to PGNiG Polish government will not force hardly reasonable investments on PKN.