PRESS RELEASE 2014-09-23

ERSTE Foundation: Doraja Eberle hands over to Franz Karl Prüller and the Foundation streamlines its structures

The Chairwoman of the Managing Board of ERSTE Foundation, Doraja Eberle, will resign her office per the end of the year and hand over to her fellow Board member Franz Karl Prüller. This was decided at yesterday’s meeting of the Supervisory Board. She will continue to be available to the ERSTE Foundation in a consulting capacity as the new Chairman of the Advisory Board.

Doraja Eberle took over the Chairmanship of ERSTE Foundation, the main shareholder of the Erste Group, on 15 December 2012. Her main task was to modify the private savings banks foundation working for the common good in accordance with the new economic conditions following the economic crisis of 2008. In recent years the Foundation has responded to the continuingly difficult economic situation and has reduced a large portion of its debts by selling shares. The bringing together of the two functions of “Chairman” and “operational responsibility” in the Managing Board also formed part of the reorganisation of the Foundation. As part of the programme, a new strategic plan was drawn up with clear points of focus: concen-tration on a smaller number of projects, and a limited number of activities. With the recently adopted resolution to remove a hierarchical level in the programme area, which affects two Programme Directors, due consideration has been given to the limited possibilities for growth available to the Foundation over the next few years.

“This decision has not been easy for us, but we can be certain that with its new slimmed-down structure the Foundation will continue to be able to fulfil its function to serve the common good in a sustainable manner,” says Eberle. She now sees her task as fulfilled, and is to withdraw from the operational management of the Foundation. In order to hold on to her experience for the benefit of the Foundation, Erhard Busek, the Chairman of the Advisory Board of ERSTE Foundation, has proposed Doraja Eberle as his successor for the chairmanship of the Advisory Board, a committee of experts from Central and Eastern Europe. Erhard Busek will continue to serve the Foundation in a consulting capacity as a member of the Advisory Board.

Among Eberle’s achievements in the two years since she took office has been defining important content-based points of focus within the Foundation’s programme. During her period of office, for example, the ERSTE Foundation NGO Academy was formed, an educational institution for social organisations in Central and South Eastern Europe. At the end of the year Doraja Eberle will hand over the chairmanship of the Foundation’s Managing Board and her management tasks to Franz Karl Prüller, who has been working for the Foundation since 2005, initially as Programme Director for Social Development, and since the end of 2012 as a Member of the Managing Board. With this move, the previous dual management will be combined in the person of the new Chairman, thus contributing to the streamlining of structures and costs.

ERSTE Foundation, Communications: Maribel Königer
Tel. +43 50100 15453, E-mail: