The new OMV boss is to continue the restructuring in the direction of chemistry

The new boss of the Viennese oil company OMV will start earlier. Alfred Stern is supposed to push ahead with the reorganization towards chemistry. Environmentalists accuse the group of spying.

Alfred Stern moves to the helm of OMV.

Alfred Stern becomes the new head of the Viennese oil and gas company OMV. The board of directors spoke out in an extraordinary meeting on Tuesday for the former head of the petrochemical company Borealis. The 56-year-old will take over from Rainer Seele on September 1st, who will be leaving OMV at the end of August. Stern was most recently responsible for the newly created Chemicals & Materials division on the Executive Board since April. He is now taking over the helm of OMV for a period of three years with an option to extend it for a further two years.

“OMV is at the beginning of a major transformation in the direction of chemicals and the circular economy, in which a large portfolio has to be managed along a far-reaching value chain – from the well to the refineries and filling stations to high-quality chemical products and recycling,” said supervisory board chief Mark Garrett. With his professional competence and international management experience as well as experience as CEO in the chemical industry, Stern is the ideal candidate.

At the same time, Garret thanked the departing CEO, Seele: “He and his management team have decisively rebuilt the OMV portfolio, significantly increased profitability and thus created the best prerequisites for the transformation in which OMV is now”. With the Borealis transaction, he took the first major and groundbreaking step in this process.

Rainer Seele resigns after allegations

A new appointment was necessary because Seele did not want to extend his contract, which expired at the end of June 2022. The native German wants to retire for family reasons. The new CEO must first and foremost bring Austria’s largest industrial group back into calmer waters.

Soul, who switched from BASF subsidiary Wintershall to OMV in 2015, was recently troubled by internal power struggles over the future strategy. The studied chemist was largely responsible for the development of the new chemicals division of OMV. The environmental protection organization Greenpeace accuses OMV of spying. In economic terms, after the coronavirus-related severe losses last year, Seele recently returned the group to profitability. Above all, the purchase of a majority stake in the petrochemical company Borealis led to a surge in growth.