OMV boss to exit Roche supervisory board

Austrian businessman Wolfgang Ruttenstorfer has decided not to reapply for a place on the supervisory board of Swiss healthcare company F. Hoffmann-La Roche Ltd. (Roche).Ruttenstorfer, who has headed Vienna-based oil and gas group OMV for eight years, entered Roche’s supervisory board in 2007. The Swiss health industry giant will decide on who will follow the former Austrian Social Democratic (SPÖ) state secretary at its general summit next March.Reports have it that Roche bosses are considering slashing the supervisory board members’ current three-year term by one year. Swiss media also report that German entrepreneur Christoph Franz is poised to apply for a seat on the panel. Franz will take over as head of aviation company Lufthansa from Austrian Wolfgang Mayrhuber from next month.Gerhard Roiss will succeed Ruttenstorfer as CEO of OMV in April.The oil and gas firm’s current head faces a lawsuit over alleged insider trading.Ruttenstorfer acquired OMV shares worth 632,000 Euros in March 2009. The company sold its 21.1 per cent stake in Hungarian rival MOL to Russian firm Surgutneftegas only a few days later.The value of OMV stocks increased sharply after the purchase since it marked the end of OMV’s ill-fated attempts to completely take over MOL. Ruttenstorfer is in hot water since he stressed in an interview that OMV will not sell its stake in MOL “in the foreseeable future”.Roche hit the headlines last month when a drastic set of austerity measures emerged.The leading health industry firm announced it planned to reduce its global staff figure by 4,800 or six per cent. Roche also said it would try to spend 1.8 billion Euros less each year as of 2011.Roche announced it will shut its Roche Diagnostics Centre in Graz in the Austrian province of Styria within the next three years. Around 400 people are currently employed at the facility.