Foreigners make the bulk of CEOs for the biggest companies in Romania listed based on turnovers. Only 40 of the first 100 private companies in Romania have local CEOs, while more than half of these companies are led by foreigners. Romania-Insider.com has listed the CEOs of top private companies in Romania.
By Corina Saceanu
Why do multinationals choose Expat managers for their Romanian subsidiaries? “Many companies hire someone capable for the job, which means that unfortunately, on some occasions, there are no Romanians who have the business exposure or experience or skill-set for that specific role,” says Delia Burnham, country manager with CVO Recruitment & Simplika.
She also explains that some companies want very tight control from HQ and so always have mother-country foreigners at the helm of their foreign operations, while others consider that the Romanian market has not reached the right level of development or right moment to hire a local CEO.
See below the first 100 biggest companies in Romania, based on their turnovers, and who is their CEO, and further down the first ten Expat CEOs on this list.
BCR – Dominic Bruynseels
BRD- Guy Poupet
OMV Petrom – Mariana Gheorghe
Automobile Dacia – Jerome Olive
Piraeus Bank- Catalin Parvu
OTP Bank- Laszlo Diosi
Rompetrol Rafinare – Arman Kairdenov
Metro Cash & Carry – Dusan Wilms
Bancpost- Peter Weiss
Raiffeisen Bank – Steven Van Groningen
Banca Transilvania- Robert Rekkers
UniCredit Tiriac Bank – Rasvan Radu
Banca Romaneasca – Marinis Stratopoulos
Orange – Jean-François Fallacher
British American Tobacco – David Waterfield
Nokia – Risto Meskus
Hiproma/Carrefour – Francois-Melchior De Polignac
Vodafone – Inaki Berroeta
Kaufland – Adrian Viman
Credit Europe Bank – Omer Tetik
GDF Suez Energie – Yvonnik David
Arcellor Mittal Galati – Thierry Le Gall
Romtelecom – Yorgos Ioannidis (*has recently announced to step down from the position)
Lukoil – Maxim Khitrov
Real Hypermarket – Michel Lamoot
Selgros Cash & Carry – Alexandru Vlad
Citibank – Tibor Pandi
Alpha Bank – Sergiu Oprescu
E.ON- Frank Hajdinjak
Allianz Tiriac Asigurari – Rangam Bir
Garanti Bank – Murat Atay
Volksbank – Lurf Johann
Philip Morris Trading – Sergey Slipchenko
Mediplus Exim – Robert Popescu
Enel Romania – Luca D’Agnese
Mol – Kinga Daradics
Coca – Cola – Michalis Imellos
OMV Petrom Marketing – Rainer Schlang
JTI – Neil Coupland
RCS & RDS – Alexandru Oprea
ING Bank – Misu Negritoiu
Porsche- Brent Valmar
Rewe- Frank Wagner
Omniasig Vienna Insurance Group- Constantin Toma
Continental Automotive products – Pedro Carreira
Alro – Gheorghe Dobra
Cora – Philippe Lejeune
Interagro – Ioan Niculae
Fondul Proprietatea- Greg Konieczny
Pludi Market – Gabor Teleki
Top Brands Distribution – Wael El Ghadban
Arabesque – Cezar Rapotan
Auchan – Patrick Espasa
CEZ Vanzare – Jan Veskrna
Alfred Toepfer International – Marco Wahler
Billa – Sorana Georgia
Ursus Breweries – Gary Whitlie
Procter & Gamble Distribution – Sotirios Marinidis
Autoliv- Ionel Fierbinteanu
ING Asigurari de Viata – Cornelia Coman
Romstrade- Gheorghe Racaru
Michelin- Eric Faidy
Bunge- Cristian Ungureanu
Praktiker – Michael Krahn
Dedeman- Dragos Paval
Farmexpert – Iulian Trandafir
Holcim- Daniel Bach
Daewoo Mangalia Heavy Industry – Soon Gil Hong
Schaeffler- Alexandru Blemovici
RBS Bank – Johan Gabriels
Cargill – Martin Schuldt
MKB Romexterra (Nextebank)- Dan Sandu
Spedition UMB- Dorinel Umbrarescu
Grup Servicii Petroliere – Fanel Hahui
Astra- Radu Mustatea
Libra Bank – Emilian Bituleanu
Takata Petri – Dan Tulvan
Unita (Uniqa Romania) – Oliviu Gabriel Stoica
Banca Italo Romena- Franco Antiga
Lafarge Ciment – Philippe Questiaux
Carpatcement- Florian Aldea
Holzindustrie – Gerald Schweighofer
Arctic – Monica Iavorschi
Oscar Downstream – Alin Niculae
Fildas Trading- Dragos Mihai
Polisano – Coca Cascaval
Sensiblu – Robert Popescu
Motoractive IFN (Part of Garanti Group)- Murat Atay
Delphi Packard – John Hutson
Generali Asigurari – Marie Kovarova
Asirom Vienna Insurance Group – Mariana Diaconescu
Bricostore – Isabelle Pleska
Farmexim – Ovidiu Buluc
Unilever – Marc Desenfans
Johnson Controls – Florinel Tudor
Pirelli Tyres- Giuseppe Cangelosi
Domo Retail – Lorand Szarvadi
Groupama Asigurari – Sanda Nicoară
Bank of Cyprus – George Christoforou
Pepsi Romania – Pavlos Katsivelis
Dominic Bruynseels, British, joined BCR in 2008, after having worked for 27 years with Barclays Bank. He has graduated Medieval History at the Durnham University and holds an MBS from the Henley University.
Guy Poupet, French, joined BRD in Romania in 2009. He started working with Groupe Societe Generale in 1975. he holds a degree in Politic Studies and in Public Law.
Jerome Olive, French, took the helm of Dacia Group in Romania in 2010.
Laszlo Diosi, Hungarian, took over the Romanian subsidiary of OTP Bank in 2007, after having been in charge of the bank’s retail division.
Arman Kairdenov, from Kazakhstan, was named GM of Rompetrol Rafinare in 2010, when he was deputy GM for the same company. Kazakh company KazMunaiGaz owns Rompetrol Rafinare.
Peter Weiss, of Argentinian nationality but with his main residence in Greece, took over the helm of Bancpost in 2010, after leading the local subsidiary of RBS (formerly ABN Amro).
Steven Van Groningen, Dutch, is the president and CEO of Raiffeisen Bank in Romania, a role that he took in 2002. He has spent almost 14 years in total in the country and is married to a Romanian, Valeria Racila.
Robert Rekkers, Dutch, has been leading Romanian lender Banca Transilvania since 2002. Before joining Banca Transilvania, he led the local subsidiary of ABN Amro.
Marinis Stratopoulos, Greek, currently the GM of Banca Romaneasca, first came to Romania to lead Egnatia Bank in 2001, which he run until 2004.
Jean-François Fallacher, French, a newcomer on the Romanian market. Fallacher joined Orange Romania earlier this year, after having led the Sofrecom company in France.
The companies’ listing is based on turnovers reported for 2009 to the Trade Registry in Romania. The listing is only meant to give an indication of market position in order to illustrate the Expat CEO article.