Article Tools

Update: OMV Appoints Outsider Rainer Seele as New CEO

Published: March 30, 2015; 12:00 · (FriedlNews)

The head of German oil and gas producer Wintershall is going to transfer to Austria’s listed oil and gas concern OMV as of 1 July 2015, taking the place of Gerhard Roiss as CEO. The incumbent CEO is going to leave the company on 30 June. Seele’s appointment as new helmsman of the Austrian firm was hailed as a "corner stone for the company”, by supervisory board head Rudolf Kemler during the press conference. Seele has been appointed for three years and his tenure may get extended by another two years. During his time in Wintershall he managed to raise production by over a half to 385,000 boe/d. Seele is a German citizen. He did not want to disclose his plans for OMV.

Rainer Seele is new CEO of OMV AG / Picture: © OMV Aktiengesellschaft

Last Friday, the Supervisory Board of OMV appointed Rainer Seele (54) as the new Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of OMV. Rainer Seele has accepted the appointment. He will assume the position effective July 1, 2015 for a three-year period, with an extension option for OMV for further two years. The current Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO Gerhard Roiss will resign from his position on June 30, 2015 as previously announced.

Supervisory Board Chairman Rudolf Kemler on the resolution: "Today´s appointment of Rainer Seele is a critical milestone which will ensure stability to OMV’s management structure. In terms of qualifications, Rainer Seele is the ideal candidate with a skill set which precisely meets the requirements and many years of experience in international management. He has a well-balanced personality and outstanding personal values. Particularly in light of the currently difficult internal and external circumstances, the top priority is ensuring that the company is on track for a stable future."

- New OMV Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO appointed as of July 1, 2015
- Appointment for three years with an extension option for OMV for further two years

The Chairman adds, "In this regard I would explicitly like to thank all of the Supervisory Board members for an appointment process characterized by professionalism and integrity over the past months and I applaud this decision in the best interests of the company."

The designated CEO Rainer Seele on his appointment: "OMV is an outstanding company with huge potential, broad expertise and first-class staff. Given the difficult circumstances at present, we have to draw on these strengths in order to work together and get the company ready for the new challenges on the markets. I am delighted to take on this responsibility and look forward to moving to Austria with my family."

Rainer Seele has long-term experience in the international oil and gas industry. The chemistry graduate has been at the helm of Wintershall Holding GmbH in Kassel since October 2009. Wintershall is Germany’s largest international crude oil and natural gas producer and a wholly owned subsidiary of the chemical group BASF. After his studies at the University of Göttingen, where he obtained a doctorate in chemistry, Seele joined BASF in Ludwigshafen, initially to conduct chemical research.

After working in a number of different functions between 1987 and 1994, Seele was appointed Head of Research Planning and Control at BASF’s Main Laboratory in 1994.  In 1996 he became Head of Strategic Planning at Wintershall in Kassel, and in 2000 he transferred to its subsidiary WINGAS, where he became Managing Director with responsibility for sales. As Chairman of WINGAS from 2002, he was above all responsible for alerting the public to the significance of cooperation with Russia for Europe’s gas supplies. In 2002 Seele was also appointed to the Wintershall Board of Executive Directors with responsibility for Natural Gas Trading. He became Chairman of the Wintershall Board in 2009.

Rainer Seele is a German citizen, married with three grown-up children.