June 11, 2019 / 10:12 AM / 2 months ago

CEO of Polish coal miner JSW sacked, shares tumble

WARSAW, June 11 (Reuters) - The CEO of Polish state-run coking coal producer JSW was sacked by the energy ministry on Tuesday following a dispute over strategy.

Shares in the company fell nearly 6% on the news, which added to broader investor concerns that Poland’s government is interfering in state-run and listed companies to use them for political projects, including investment designed to sustain the coal industry.

Daniel Ozon, who has been CEO since 2017, has had the support of shareholders and trade unions, but has fallen out with the energy ministry over strategy and had already survived previous attempts to oust him.

“The supervisory board lost trust in him,” Energy Minister Krzysztof Tchorzewski told JSW miners, after the company’s supervisory board officially sacked Ozon at a meeting on Tuesday morning.

Hundreds of miners travelled to Warsaw on Tuesday morning to protest against Ozon’s dismissal. Under Ozon, JSW agreed to raise salaries by 7% last year and pay out a one-off benefit.

The term of the current management board, including Ozon, ends on June 26. A process for selecting new management is underway, with the deadline for submissions set at midday on Tuesday.

Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; additional reporting by Pawel Florkiewicz; Editing by Susan Fenton

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