The Slovenia Times

Matjaž Merkan appointed new CEO of Telekom Slovenije


Announcing the supervisory board's decision on Tuesday, chief supervisor Lidija Glavina said that the vetting commission had put forward Merkan based on interviews with three shortlisted candidates.

"Telekom Slovenije is a good company, operating in a fast-changing sector ... We believe the style of leadership and the vision presented by Mr Merkan will contribute to implementation of the goals and further development of Telekom Slovenije," Glavina said.

Merkan, who will assume his four-year term as CEO of Slovenia's leading telecommunications company on 16 September, said he was glad to be taking on the new challenge.

"I'm guided by good results and target achievement together with employees," he said, noting his 20-year leadership experience.

Merkan headed Weiler Abrasives, the maker of abrasives formerly known as SwatyComet, for just over six years until the end of March this year. He has been advisor to the company's management since.

Merkan, who holds a bachelor's degree in physics and a master's degree in economics, had earlier served for almost three years as a unit head at Swatycomet, and before that worked for lighting maker Siteco Sistemi and its precursor Elektrokovina Svetilke.

Noting his time with the company that was acquired by the US-based Weiler Corporation in 2015, he said that together with the team they implemented many innovations and aspired for business excellency.

He described Telekom Slovenije as an excellent company, a market leader introducing new products, services and trends in Slovenia and the broader region.

"I'm confident that it will retain its leading position in the future - including by expanding into new fields," he said, noting fast changes in the industry.

"Telekom Slovenije will need to become even more digitalised, advanced and agile. It's worth betting on the people who comprise the group and who have something to show for themselves even today," he added.

The appointment comes as the shareholders' meeting on Friday is due to appoint two new members of the supervisory board to replace Glavina and Ljubomir Rajšić.

The pair tendered their resignations in June. Rajšić's term ended on 18 June, while Glavina, the former CEO of Slovenian Sovereign Holding, will continue to serve until the shareholders' meeting.

According to unofficial information obtained by the business newspaper Finance, the candidates for the new supervisors are Barbara Cerovšek Zupančič and Igor Rozman.

The shareholders' meeting will also vote on the allocation of distributable profit for 2018. The proposal is to pay out a dividend of EUR 4.50 gross per share.

This is much below last year's dividend of EUR 14.30 gross per share, and even below the management's original proposal of EUR 6.30 gross per share.

The telecoms group posted a net profit of EUR 33.3m in 2018, which compares to EUR 9m in 2017. The group reported a net profit of EUR 19.57 million for the first half of 2019, up 35% year-on-year.


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