Maribor – The supervisory board of postal operator Pošta Slovenije appointed Tomaž Kokot the new director general of the state-owned company on Tuesday. He was given a full term of five years after efforts to appoint him had been under way for months.
The supervisory board had heard presentations by three candidates before picking Kokot, who stepped in as Pošta Slovenije’s interim director in late March 2021, when the previous director resigned.
Kokot took office today, the company said, with Sebastijan Gostenčnik, who took office on 16 September 2021, and Karmen Lebe Grajf, who took office on 18 October last year, staying on as members of the management board alongside him.
The supervisory board started the procedure to appoint the new management board in November, and authorised an external recruitment agency to select the most suitable candidates. The latter then shortlisted the three candidates.
Commenting on today’s appointment, chief supervisor Ervin Renko said he wa happy that the procedure had been completed, as it gave Pošta Slovenije a competent management board that would lead the company to becoming a leading postal logistics group.
“The supervisory board made its decision on the basis of the attached candidates’ programmes, presentations and a report by a professional recruitment agency, which, in addition to fulfilment of formal requirements, also assessed the candidates’ competences through psychological testing and interviews,” Renko said.
According to the postal operator’s supervisors, Kokot fulfils all the requirements for the management of Pošta Slovenije, which employs around 8,000 staff, Renko said. Kokot has comparable experience for the management of a large company and has been successful in leading the postal operator so far, he added.
Commenting on the developments, Kokot said he was taking the position with full responsibility and commitment to the supervisory board for the implementation of the Pošta Slovenije group’s vision. “I believe that in the last year as interim director general I’ve proved that I’m able to cope with current challenges and the key objective, that is to ensure the successful development of the group,” he said.
According to interim data, Pošta Slovenije met expectations last year, having achieved record operating income. In the first eleven months of 2021, it generated revenue of EUR 423 million, a tenth more than in the same period of 2020 and 7% above the business plan.
Prior to being appointed interim head of Pošta Slovenije, Kokot was the chief supervisor of the company.
There has been a number of allegations of political staffing at Pošta Slovenije, with Kokot’s ties to the ruling Democrats (SDS) in the spotlight. He has been an SDS councillor in the Poljčane municipality for more than a decade, where he also unsuccessfully ran for mayor.
In December, several media outlets also reported that a Pošta Slovenije supervisor had filed a complaint with Slovenian Sovereign Holding, alleging political pressure to appoint Kokot for a full term. Moreover, there have been accusations that Kokot does not have the required qualifications for the top post.
Efforts to put him in charge of the postal operator for full term had been going on since May last year, when an open call for the new director general was published. Reportedly there were disagreements among the supervisory board members over the issue of Kokot’s appointment.
Kokot holds a master’s degree in economics and business, and is currently pursuing a PhD in project management.