(Updates with quotes, details)
By Marja Novak
LJUBLJANA, Oct 24 (Reuters) - The head of Slovenia’s largest fuel retailer Petrol, Tomaz Berlocnik, who led the company since 2011, said he resigned on Thursday, along with two other top managers of the company.
“Sadly the management and the supervisory board had different views regarding development, particularly the strategy of the company, so we decided to quit at this point in agreement (with the supervisory board),” Berlocnik told reporters after a supervisory board meeting.
Petrol said Berlocnik will be replaced by Nada Drobne Popovic, who was the head of the supervisory board of the company. It gave no further details on the reasons for the management change.
The government is the largest shareholder of Petrol, owning about 32% of the company.
Earlier on Thursday the Managers’ Association of Slovenia, which named Berlocnik the manager of the year last month due to his successful leadership of Petrol, called upon the government to reconsider the rumoured plans to replace Petrol’s management.
“What message do we send to the society if we remove the team which ensured growth of the company and significantly increased the added value it makes?” the Association said in a statement.
Following the association’s statement Prime Minister Marjan Sarec said on Twitter that the rumoured information that his Party of Marjan Sarec (LMS) wants to replace the management of Petrol is not true.
Petrol is one of the largest Slovenian firms with market capitalisation of some 736 million euros ($817 million). It employs about 5,000 people and operates over 500 filling stations in Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia, Serbia, Montenegro and Kosovo. ($1 = 0.9007 euros) (Reporting by Marja Novak Editing by Chris Reese and Lisa Shumaker)