George Stassis, an engineer and executive of the multinational energy group Enel, is the new chairman and CEO of PPC.
Former head, M. Panagiotakis, a product of PPC, with intense political and union activity, strong views and a history within the company, will be replaced with the dynamic young man, who has international experience, but apart from a multinational group, also knows the specifics of the Greek market when it comes to PPC itself with which he had relations from his time at Tellas, as well as the balance and trends in the sector (through his tenure at Enel Green Power Hellas).
The proposition to Mr. Stassis was formally made by the Hellenic Corporation of Assets and Participations (HCAP) board during PPC’s general meeting of shareholders.
Associates of the energy minister, Kostis Chatzidakis, mentioned that “George Stassis is an energy manager, has a carrier in a big multinational company, he has experience in restructuring energy businesses, he is young and he is a Greek who returns from abroad to help with the government’s effort”.
PPC’s new manager is expected to face a series of challenges that include among others negative financial results, the high cost of old production plants, the opening of the power market, the precipitation of investments in renewables etc.
As for the background of his selection, it turns out that only a close circle knew about the decision, even though ministry associates had described his profile: A young manager who climbed one of the biggest European companies ladder. According to information, Mr. Stassis was shortlisted along with three other candidates, whose CVs were chosen by energy minister K. Chatzidakis for the chair of PPC.
Mr. Stassis himself was notified a few hours before the ministry’s official announcement, of HCAP’s decision to nominate him and until the last minute, the timing of the announcement was an open issue. The ministry decided that a possible delay would break the positive momentum around the company and it wanted to give its own message about PPC’s future.
What Stassis’s choice means
On a symbolic level, the case of the 45 year old manager is the most fitting: He has years of experience in the power sector in one of the largest multinational European companies, where he distinguished himself with constant promotions, while having extensive knowledge of green and conventional energy in a tough market, such as Romania’s that has similarities and differences to the Greek market.
But the case of Enel is an example of lost opportunities for PPC, in the sense that the Italian company recently sold a large market share in Italy, transformed into an international group by taking advantage of the injected capital for its expansion, but also for the rapid growth of renewables, where it is considered to be among the top players globally. The new head of PPC has lived through this example and the restructuring of the Romanian market.
And, of course, after his return to Greece after a seven year carrier abroad, he sends another message of a successful businessman who returns home to act on the “brain regain”, that is the reversal of the brain drain that many notable Greek professionals did during the crisis.
“The right man at the right position”
What is interesting about Mr. Stassis’s case is that he is currently in his best professional phase and in that sense he does not enter PPC to finish his career and receive a good compensation bonus, but to make work of the expertise that he acquired in a difficult undertaking.
But how is he described by those who have close experience of him and what are their views about his decision to undertake the hard and demanding task of PPC?
His associated from his telecom days speak of the right man at the right position. His personality is described as simple, with multi year experience in a huge group, a man who during his tenure in Romania managed a company of similar or bigger size than PPC.
It is indeed interesting that like Enel’s CEO, Fransesco Starace who passed from the renewables arm to the mother company, Mr. Stassis transitioned from conventional power production to a market that lived through sales, privitizations, listings etc.
A manager from the green energy market who cooperated with him in ELETAEN speaks of a capable manager, both in economics and in development. The fact that he climbed rather quickly the ladder of a multinational is not random, he says.
Who is who
George I. Stassis was until now CEO of Enel Romania Srl, the greatest energy company in Romania.
Mr. Stassis worked in Italian group Enel SpA, where he was head of Enel Green Power for SE Europe and Middle East, responsible for countries like Greece, Bulgaria, Romania, Turkey and Egypt. He holds more than 13 years of experience in the energy market and has taken important positions in organizations and bodies of the sector.
From 2001 to 2006 he worked in Tellas Telecommunications S.A as a member of the executive team and as an Executive Director of Strategic Projects and Procurement.
He also holds the position of vice president of the board of the Foreign Investments Council in Romania, he is the chairman of the Coalition for Romania’s Development, while he is a member of the board of the Association of Utilities, the board of Trustees of Αspen Institute Romania and the board of CRE.
He was also a member of ELETAEN, a member of the Greek-American chamber’s energy committee and chairman of the energy committee of G20Y.
Mr. Stassis studied as a civil engineer in the Kingston University in the UK and he holds an MBA in Construction Management. He has taken part in executive programs for sustainable development in ELIS Management Academy, as well as Executive Leadership at Harvard University.
He is married with two children
Enel is a multinational energy company and a top player in global energy markets of natural gas and renewables. It is one of the biggest utilities and is included in the top power producers of Europe in terms of capacity and EBITDA. The group is present in 34 countries and it has power plants of 89 GW, while it sells power through a network of more than 2,200,00km with around 73 million residential and commercial consumers globally, the biggest number among its European peers. Enel Green Power, the renewables arm of Enel, manages more than 44 GW of wind, solar, geothermal and hydro plants in Europe, America, Africa, Asia and Australia.