Executive board members of Naftogaz has threatened to quit after the controversial dismissal of former CEO Andriy Kobolyev.
Today, Kyiv Post writes that four executive board members of Naftogaz threatens to resign, if the government does not find common ground with the supervisory board before the resignations of the supervisory boards takes effect on May 14.
The whole disagreement started with a bad year for the state owned gas company Naftogaz, where they reported major losses, in 2020. While a lot of the budget deficit can be attributed to the pandemic, large investments and other factors, the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine found it to be enough reason to fire the CEO, Andriy Kobolyev.
To do that, they had to suspend the supervisory board temporarily, which they did, and then fired Kobolyev. However, this decision was met with a lot of criticism, because it might very well be against Ukrainian law.
The supervisory board did not like being sidelined like that, so six members all resigned in protest effective on the 14th of May. 2020 is the first year, where Naftogaz reported losses since 2015. They are by far the biggest tax payer in Ukraine, providing roughly one sixth of the budget for the Ukrainian state.
IMF, the World Bank and several other international partners have all criticized the dismissal of Kobolyev, though no one has done it more harshly than the man itself:
“I do not consider that the decision of the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine was legitimate. I believe that this decision puts an end to corporate reform. This is important not only for Naftogaz or for me personally, it is important for the entire corporate governance system that has been under construction for the last seven years,” said Kobolyev to Interfax-Ukraine yesterday.