Dāvis announced his decision at Friday’s board meeting, declining to reveal the reasons for not planning to renew his contract. According to Juris Savickis, board chairman of minority shareholder Itera Latvija, the board accepted Dāvis’ decision with regret.
“He has worked in the gas sector for 50 years and headed Latvijas gāze for 27 of them,” said Savickis. “To find such a high-level leader either in Latvia or outside Latvia will be difficult. His replacement will be sought internationally, with preference given to a Latvian expert,” he added.
The board hopes to have approved a new CEO by July 3, a month before Dāvis relinquishes his post. Otherwise, no further changes to the board are expected, Savickis told LETA.
Dāvis joined the executive line-up at Latvijas gaze in 1988 as deputy director, then served in positions there as general director, president and board chairman. Prior to that his career was also exclusively aligned with Soviet Latvian gas utilities as an engineer and laboratory director dating back to the 1960s.
After a brief term as an elected Riga city council member in 1995, Dāvis was investigated by prosecutors at the behest of the Latvian Social Democratic Union political party in 1999 for signing the natural gas supply agreement with Gazprom, the legality of which was challenged at the time.
In 2008 he was listed by business daily Dienas Bizness among Latvia’s one-thousand millionaires. His holdings include over 1124 hectares of land around the country valued at over 600,000 euros, as well as other real estate properties in Riga, its outskirts and other regions in Latvia.
Last year Latvijas gāze earned over 30 million euros in profits, according to unaudited reports submitted to the NASDAQ OMX Riga bourse.
Ownership of Latvia’s gas utility concern is shared among Germany’s E.ON Ruhrgas International GmbH (47.2%), Russia’s Gazprom (34%) and Itera Latvia (16%).