In the current context where the privatizations sector checks failure over failure, neither does the private management strategy work better. At least that seems to be the case for TAROM, Romanian Air Transport Company that faces a delicate situation these days. Just as the Board of Directors at TAROM shortened Christian Heinzmann’s mandate, the CEO of the company, from four years to only one year, this summer, it was their turn to be dismissed by the General Meeting of Shareholders (GMS).
The GMS was convened by the Romania’s Ministry of Transport as Teodora Trandafir, the ministry’s spokeswoman announced: ‘GMS TAROM decided to dismiss all the members of TAROM Board because they broke the company’s statute and the mandate with which they were invested when they decided to shorten the CEO’s mandate from four to one year.’
In addition to that negative aspect, other factors that determined such decision are the statements the members of the Board made in connection with TAROM and its management and that have appeared in the media lately. Thereby, the former members: Dan Pascariu (President), Valentin Macec (Vice-President), Ciprian Ladunca, Marius Ghenea and Dumitru Prunariu have been replaced by Dante Stein (Advisor to the Prime Minister), Manuel Donescu (Secretary of State in the Ministry of Transport), Florin Luca (Banking Strategy Advisor), Bogdan Speteanu (General Manager of BCR Leasing) and Razvan Filipescu (President of the National Authority for Tourism).
The freshly appointed members are lacking experience in management in the aviation sector, nevertheless such criteria is not compulsory according to the Ministry of Transport that explained that the selection requirements focused on other aspects such as: experience in accounting, economy, audit, management etc. Besides them, there will be another two who will be nominated to become members of the Board in the near future, but their names have not been disclosed yet. As for the new President to replace Dan Pascariu, he will be elected from the new Board’s members at the first meeting they will have.
Trandafir also discussed the main issue that caused the actual situation saying that the Ministry has a neutral approach in relation with Christian Heinzmann’s mandate, advising the new Board of Directors to look into his activity as CEO and evaluate his performance: ‘The Ministry of Transport has neither a pro position, nor an against one regarding Mr. Heinzmann’s mandate. The new Board of Directors is going to make an evaluation and the goal is that TAROM enters the regular parameters.’
Heinzmann’s mandate of CEO expires on November 19 due to its shortening to one year caused by repeated divergences between him and the Board. In spite of that, which was announced as a mutual decision, the Belgian stated that he wishes to continue his cooperation with TAROM even after the expiration date, but Ramona Manescu, Minister of Transport declined that possibility by announcing at the end of September that his mandate will end on November 19.
In that respect, TAROM has already published employment ads not only for the future vacant position (CEO), but also for CFO (Chief Financial Officer), COO (Chief Operating Officer) and CCO (Chief Commercial Officer).
The appointment of Christian Heinzmann as CEO of TAROM last fall is part of the private management strategy attempted to be implemented by state companies in order to possibly re-establish themselves, like in the TAROM case that has reported continuous losses over the past years.