Even though the Bucharest Stock Exchange has announced it is looking for a CEO, it is likely that Ludwik Sobolewski will remain on the payroll of the BSE for two more years, because his contract includes a non-compete clause.
And that clause isn't cheap at all, because Sobolewski is entitled to a monthly payment of half his salary, which was approximately 18,000 Euros.
The BSE can unilaterally denounce that clause, but it has to notify Sobolewski one month in advance.
During the "non-compete" period, the former CEO pledges not to buy stock in other companies similar to the BSE and not to provide similar services to other companies with the same line of business. The clause is applicable in Romania and Central and Eastern Europe, including Poland.
If the CEO violates this clause, then he is required to reimburse the amounts collected based on it.
Sobolewski had a similar clause when he was working in Warsaw, which the Warsaw Stock Exchange dropped when he came to Bucharest.
Market sources claim that Sobolewski has already asked for payment for the first month, based on the clause in question.
That would mean that indirectly, Sobolewski also admits that he is no longer the CEO of the BSE.
In the beginning, Sobolewski notified the market that his mandate was still in effect, even though his mandate contract expired on August 21st, 2017. Later, he issued a statement that "due to the unusual legal situation", he has decided not to exercise his mandate.
Through these statements, Ludwik Sobolewski and the BSE have violated the Romanian Civil Code, which stipulates that the mandate and the mandate agreement are one and the same thing.
Despite his transgressions, apparently some of the Board members of the BSE want him back, and some of the employees of the BSE are actually saying that it will happen.
Meanwhile, unexpectedly, the Central Depository from Poland KDPW announced on September 4th, that Iwona Sroka has been dismissed from the position of CEO, without offering a reason.
KDPW appointed Paweł Gorecki for three months as an interim CEO, and will begin a selection process for a new president.
Sroka was in charge of the KDPW since 2009.
Market voices have started wondering whether the events in Poland are connected to Sobolewski's potential departure from Bucharest. Polish sources aren't too convinced about the likelihood of Sobolewski returning to the Polish depository, because people still remember what happened in 2012, during his term as CEO of the Warsaw Exchange. Back then, Sobolewski was suspended and then dismissed from the position of CEO of the WSE, after the press reported that he asked issuers to finance a movie in which his girlfriend at the time, Szarek was playing.
In 2015, BURSA wrote that Ludwik Sobolewski had begun surfing job sites, looking for open positions in Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
BSE shareholders are being summoned on September 14th, to fill out the vacant positions on the Board of Directors, as the only candidate for the vacant seat is Radu Hanga.
ADINA ARDELEANU (translated by Cosmin Ghidoveanu)