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POLAND: Changes in state-owned Orlen and Energa

In a sudden decision yesterday, the management changed in two state-owned companies. Wojciech Jasiński, an influential PiS politician trusted by Jarosław Kaczyński, lost his position as CEO of the oil giant PKN Orlen. He was replaced by Daniel Obajtek who headed the state-owned energy company Energa as of 2017. The position of the CEO of Orlen is seen as the one of the most sought-after jobs in the country. Many politicians, if offered the above and the role of a minister, would choose Orlen.

Jasiński, as sources claim, was seen as a more independent player with some political leverage. Morawiecki, in a bid to have more control over state-owned companies, demanded a change in Orlen. Obajtek, meanwhile, is seen as a more controversial choice. In 2015 he was a mayor of small town and he was close to Beata Szydło, previous PM. He had many critics, arguing that he has no experience to head the energy giant Energa. During his tenure, he fired 1200 people and was quite prominent in the media. His appointment to Orlen might mean a major change of personnel, as well as the strengthening of Energy Minister Tchórzewski. It is also expected that Orlen will get more involved in energy matters, especially the financing of the proposed nuclear power plant.