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KGHM refusing to bend to Socha

Metals group KGHM has decided to keep its CEO, despite government pressure to sack him.

The supervisory board of KGHM - the world's sixth-largest copper producer - left CEO Wiktor Bladek in his post, despite calls from Treasury Minister Jacek Socha for his dismissal.

"No personnel changes occurred," board chairman Janusz Maciejewicz told reporters after a supervisory-board meeting, where Bladek's position in the firm was scheduled for discussion.

Bladek was appointed to sit on the management board as on employee representative - the first such member selected directly by company staff. Before the meeting, Treasury Minister Jacek Socha had said that it was illogical for Bladek to hold positions of both CEO and member of the board.

"I want to change the CEO at KGHM - where the state Treasury has more than 40 percent - who was previously elected to the management board by the employees," Socha told a gathering of foreign students.

Employees at large state-controlled companies have the right to appoint a representative to the management board.

The Treasury holds 44 percent of KGHM's shares, making it the company's largest shareholder. It will have the option of removing Bladek at a shareholders' meeting later this month. Since Bladek can be dismissed from the board only by another employee vote, he will remain a member even if he eventually loses the position of CEO.

"I'm not striving for Minister Socha's approval - I just want to work for the good of the company and make KGHM a global player," said Bladek.

(WBJ 06.vi.05)

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