The Slovenia Times

Change agreed at the helm of Telekom Slovenije


Ljubljana - The supervisory board of Telekom Slovenije has reached agreement with Cvetko Sršen and Barbara Galičič Drakslar to end their terms as chairman and member of the management board, respectively, by the time new board members are appointed or by the end of October at the latest. It also dismissed for cause board member Tomaž Jontes.

In a press release issued after Thursday's session of the supervisory board, the state-owned telecommunications provider said Jontes's dismissal was effective from Thursday.

Until a new board member is appointed, his responsibilities as sales and marketing director are being taken over by board member Mitja Štular.

Špela Fortin, the representative of the works council on the board, is staying on.

The replacements come a week ahead of the shareholders' meeting which is to vote on the proposal by the state-run Pension Fund Management (KAD) to replace five of the six representatives of shareholders on the supervisory board.

One of the reasons for the replacement is that new supervisors should review some of the past decisions, including the contentious EUR 30 million acquisition of software developer Actual I.T..

Some media have reported the telco paid too much for Actual I.T and that Štular and Jontes opposed the acquisition. However, Telekom said the transaction had undergone a due diligence check and two independent valuations.

Cvetko Sršen has been serving as chairman of the company since March 2021, after the supervisors appointed under the former government reached agreement with the previous management to step down.

Being an active member of the Democratic Party (SDS), the main ruling coalition party at the time, Sršen faced allegations of being a political appointee.

Under his chairmanship, Telekom was accused of generous advertising in the pro-SDS media and of covertly financing Nova24TV, the broadcaster co-owned by SDS members, through a distribution fee.

Telekom was also criticised for reorganising the ranking of programmes in its TV package by moving two of the most popular programmes, Pop TV and Kanal A, lower and the programmes of Nova24TV higher.

Even before Sršen's arrival in the company, Telekom sold the broadcaster Planet TV to Hungarian media company TV2 media.

Under his watch, the management then halted the sale of its subsidiary TS Media, which owns and runs the web portals, and to United Group, the owner of the telecommunications provider Telemach that later also launched the online news outlet N1 in Slovenia.

Sršen defended the decision to suspend the sale by saying that TS Media's opportunities in the market outweighed the benefits of the sale, while media speculated the sale was suspended because the ruling party wanted to keep its control of the news portal

Telekom Slovenije reported EUR 23.4 million in group net profit for the first half of the year, an increase of 10% on the same period a year ago, as sales revenue dropped by 1% to EUR 314.2 million.


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