ECONOMY

CEO of PPC resigns

Public Power Corporation (PPC) CEO Dimitris Maniatakis unexpectedly resigned yesterday after nearly two years at the helm of the state-controlled electricity company. Maniatakis will not quit the company but will remain in some capacity, to be determined by the board of directors, connected with PPC’s international activities. PPC’s board decided to convene an extraordinary shareholders’ assembly to appoint a new CEO. No firm date has been set yet, but it is expected to take place next week, at the earliest. Until then, board chairman Constantine Kyriakopoulos, will take over the CEO’s functions. It is said that the government, which holds a bare majority of the shares, favors economist Panayiotis Tsoupidis, currently head of Postal Savings Bank. «Dimitris Maniatakis informed me of his decision to resign as CEO of PPC, saying, at the same time, that he remains at the company’s disposal to continue his contribution in the group’s subsidiaries and, especially, in the field of international activities,» Development Minister Dimitris Sioufas declared yesterday. «From his position as CEO during the last couple of years, Dimitris Maniatakis contributed conscientiously to PPC’s new business plan and set the foundations for the company’s future growth, both domestically and internationally. I wish to thank him publicly for his contribution,» Sioufas added. «I had submitted to the (government) some proposals to improve PPC’s finances that were not accepted,» Maniatakis told Kathimerini. To others, however, he said that «the ministry played no part; I simply informed the minister that it is my wish to focus on the company’s international activities.» Last Saturday, at the annual convention of PPC’s union GENOP, Maniatakis had evoked the example of Spain, whose government has pledged 3.75 billion euros over the following four years to power companies to compensate them for keeping rises in electricity tariffs lower than warranted by rises in fuel prices. The expensive energy prices have hit PPC’s bottom line: Profits during the first nine months of 2006 fell over 50 percent compared with the corresponding period in 2005. Earlier last week, Maniatakis had also called for greater leeway for PPC to set tariffs and hire personnel according to its needs. That had angered the unions, which were openly hostile to Sioufas and Maniatakis last Saturday, despite the latter’s claim that he did not want to emulate the management model of OTE Chairman and CEO Panayis Vourloumis.