At the Casinos Austria AG Annual General Meeting and Supervisory Board meeting, new members were appointed to the Supervisory Board with the new Chairman of the Supervisory Board, Siemens Austria chief Wolfgang Hesoun, the top Austrian manager.
Robert Chvatal, CEO of the SAZKA Group, who has chaired the Board since the retirement of Walter Rothensteiner, is currently his sole Vice Chairman.
The Supervisory Board was named by ÖBAG Director and former PwC CEO Christine Catasta and compliance and player safety specialist Erika Stark-Rittenauer. The committee is being left by Gerhild Hofer and Thomas Polzer.
Thomas Schmid of the ÖBAG Managing Board said: “I am delighted that we were able to secure an experienced top manager as President of the Supervisory Board, and that person is Wolfgang Hesoun.
“Our current personnel decisions show that after a challenging period, we are embarking on a new chapter for the company, one in which the Managing Board, the employees, the Supervisory Board and the owners work together to create a positive future for the company.”
A syndicate contract between the SAZKA Group (majority owner) and the state-owned holding company ÖBAG forms the basis for the changes in membership of the Boards. Recently, the EU Competition Commission accepted this deal.
Of the new cooperation between the owners, SAZKA CEO Robert Chvatal said: “The syndicate contract between the two main owners amicably regulates the strategic development and alignment of the corporate group. Our shared vision and long-term strategy provide the stability that the company needs.
“This is particularly important in the current difficult situation as well as with regard to the challenges facing the corporate group in the near future. In particular, the two main owners will make a substantial contribution to strengthening distribution and building up new online services, as well as driving forward the urgently needed fight against illegality.”
Within the Casinos Austria/Österreichische Lotterien Group, player security and managing gambling responsibly has always been a key problem. The Supervisory Board will have concrete support for the activities of the company in this critical field in the future.
With respect to the future focus Schmid said: “Casinos and lotteries bear great social responsibility in the gaming sector. As a core shareholder, it is of particular interest to ÖBAG that our shareholdings continue to expand their pioneering role in the area of player protection in Europe. With Erika Stark-Rittenauer, we on the Supervisory Board can provide valuable input in this regard.”
At Friday’s meetings, the report on the ReFIT restructuring programme was discussed at length. A comprehensive package was put together in a very short time after intense talks, and much of it has already been introduced. In the long run, these far-reaching steps would save EUR 50 million and reduce the number of workers by about 500 FTEs throughout the group.
As a positive point, it was noted that almost the entire reduction of workers could be carried out in the form of amicable separations and followed by corresponding social plans, new collective agreements and business agreements. This was possible because a sum was invested in the design of these separation packages in the high double-digit millions.
Far-reaching organisational reform has made operations much more effective and allowed new entrepreneurial tasks to be targeted. This has provided a base for the corporate group’s long-term security.