Mariana Gheorghe leaves OMV Petrom

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On Tuesday, OMV Petrom’s Supervisory Council decided to replace Mariana Gheorghe with Scotland’s Christina Verchere, who leads an Asian division of British Petroleum.

Christina Verchere is the new President and CEO of OMV Petrom (SNP), the biggest industrial company in Romania and the most valuable company listed on the Bucharest Stock Exchange. The Board of Directors appointed her until 16 April 2019, the date on which Mariana Gheorghe’s mandate would have expired.

“Christina Verchere has accepted the appointment and will take over, depending on the availability, starting on 21 May 2018 at the latest,” OMV Petrom points out.

Christina Verchere (46) has worked 19 years in the oil industry, being responsible for the Asian division of British Petroleum (BP), one of the oil giants of the world.

Mariana Gheorghe’s replacement more than ten years since she took over the leadership of the company took place the day in which Romanian President Klaus Iohannis met an OMV Petrom delegation led by OMV AG Group CEO Rainer Seele. According to a presidential communique, the talks included a presentation of the company’s development strategy, which includes the boosting of Petrom’s internationalisation degree, in order to capitalise on the existing opportunities in the region, as well as a consistent growth of investments starting this year. Also discussed were the need for the predictability of the fiscal and legislative framework and the partnership between OMV Petrom and Exxon Mobile in order to exploit the Neptun Deep perimeter.

“The change at the helm of OMV Petrom comes at a critical moment for the company’s investments in Romania: the exploitation of reserves in the Black Sea and their transmission through the BRUA pipeline financed by the European Commission. In this context, the replacement of Mariana Gheorghe, the Romanian CEO who stood at the helm of the company for 12 years, could also have a geostrategic stake. Both Russia and America are directly interested in the Black Sea reserves, and Mariana Gheorghe’s replacement could change the fate of these exploitations,” Digi24 points out.

In November, the parliamentary committee tasked with investigating the ANRE launched very harsh attacks against Mariana Gheorghe and the Petrom company, even though the committee was set up to investigate the activity of the ANRE, not that of the oil company.

Mariana Gheorghe was Petrom’s first female CEO and the Romanian woman who held the leadership of a company this size for the longest period. She was appointed at the helm of the company in June 2006, just 2 years after Petrom was privatised.