Podravka Gets New CEO

Total Croatia News

After two dramatic days of negotiations, the government and pension funds have agreed on the new board of directors.

Marin Pucar is the new CEO of Podravka, a food giant and one of Croatia’s largest companies. He will replace Zvonimir Mršić, decided Podravka’s supervisory board, reports Poslovni.hr on February 24, 2017.

Late on Thursday evening, the news was announced during a press conferences held by president of the supervisory board Dubravko Štimac. The board unanimously decided to appoint Pucar as the new CEO and it also unanimously named the new members of the board of directors: Ljiljana Šapina, Iva Brajević and Hrvoje Kolarić. On 1 May, the board of directors will be joined by Davor Doko (who is now a member of the board of directors of AZ Pension Fund).

“In the last two days, we got to know the thinking of all shareholders, we have talked with several candidates for the board of directors and finally decided for these candidates. The decisions were made unanimously. The new management team will continue to successfully lead the company in the next period”, said Štimac.

Deputy chairman of the supervisory board Luka Burilović, who is also the president of the Croatian Chamber of Economy, said that they had selected high-quality people who already know Podravka. He stressed that Podravka was an extremely important company for the state. “Podravka has great potential and in the next four years it should further strengthen and demonstrate that it can become a regional player and almost double its revenues. We expect that the current revenues of 4.5 billion kuna will reach 7.5 billion kuna”, said Burilović.

The new CEO Pucar said he was honoured by the appointment. “I am confident that in the next two months we will define and adopt a new business strategy”, said Pucar, pointing out that he had worked in Podravka and would not need time to adapt. Pucar used to work in Podravka for 12 years.

The supervisory board made the decision on new members just a few hours before the expiry of the term of previous members, which were led by Zvonimir Mršić. The session lasted for two days, since the decision was not made on Wednesday as originally planned, so the meeting had to be extended to Thursday.

Given the media speculation about the election of the new CEO and alleged conflicts within HDZ and between some ministers about who should be elected, Prime Minister Andrej Plenković was also asked about the issue. “You have to bear in mind that the state has only slightly more than 25 percent of the shares. The key shareholders are pension funds. The government has named certain people to the supervisory board, and they have the authority to decide on new members of the board of directors”, said Plenković on Thursday morning.

According to the media, Pucar was proposed as a candidate for CEO by Minister of State Property Goran Marić, while Defence Minister Damir Krstičević insisted on Gordan Kolak, his previous business associate.

The supervisory board has nine members, four of which have been named by pension funds, which have the largest stake in Podravka, three are representatives of the state, one is a legal expert and one is a representative of workers of Podravka. According to data from the end of last year, pension funds own 49 percent of stake in Podravka, the state holds 25.4 percent of shares, other shareholders have 22.7 percent, while 2.8 percent are owned by the company itself.

In 2016, Podravka had net profits in the amount of 182.4 million kuna, which was 54.7 percent more than the year before. Revenues amounted to 4.18 billion kuna, an increase of 15.4 percent from the year earlier.


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