Nada Drobne Popović named Petrol CEO for full term


The decision was taken by the supervisory board after conducting interviews with two candidates for the post, put forward by the vetting commission following a selection procedure involving three staffing agencies.

Based on the candidates' presentations of their vision and strategy for the company's development, Drobne Popović was picked as the most suitable candidate, Petrol said in a post on the Ljubljana Stock Exchange.

Drobne Popović was given 21 days to form a management team, which will need to get the supervisory board's endorsement to be appointed for a five-year term.

Until then, Drobne Popović will continue to act as CEO with Danijela Ribarič Selaković and Ika Krevzel Panić acting as management board members.

A member of the management board of Slovenian Sovereign Holding (SSH) from October 2015, Drobne Popović joined the Petrol supervisory board in April 2017 becoming its chair.

She resigned from the SSH management in April 2018 and left the holding in June that year to join Acroni, a member of the majority-Russian owned steel group SIJ, as chief financial officer.

Drobne Popović took over as interim CEO at Petrol on 25 October, a day after the supervisory board under her guide agreed an early termination of term with the long-serving chief executive Tomaž Berločnik and board members Rok Vodnik and Igor Stebernak.

The resignation, the stated reason for which was "differences in views on the strategy", provoked a major controversy with the government demanding explanations from SSH, which manages the state's 31% stake in Petrol.

A shareholders' meeting in December called to discuss the matter heard conflicting explanations provided by the supervisory board and the resigned management.

The supervisors claimed the management did not heed their warnings that the management's calculations concerning planned investment and debt leverage were wrong, leading to a loss of trust.

The former management argued that there was indeed an error in the calculations which could easily be corrected without damage to the company, while it understood the supervisors it must resign over differences in strategy rather than the error.

Meanwhile, the media reported that the developments were the result of a conflict between lobbies with interests in the corporation and political interference.

Berločnik had run Petrol as CEO since February 2011.