Press statement by the Chairman of the Supervisory Board of OHB-System AG, Prof. Manfred Fuchs, on reports concerning comments attributed to the Company’s CEO Berry Smutny
On Thursday, January 13, 2011, the Norwegian daily “Aftenposten” repeatedly reported on a conversation held on October 2, 2009 between Berry Smutny, the CEO of OHB-System AG, and representatives of the US embassy, citing as its source wires sent by the US embassy in Berlin, which had entered the public domain as a result of the WikiLeaks documents. In these wires and reports, Berry Smutny, who at that time had only been with the OHB Group for a few weeks, is alleged to have made misleading statements.
Prof. Manfred Fuchs, the Chairman of OHB-System AG’s Supervisory Board, today stated the following in response to these reports:
“Mr. Smutny is alleged to have made various comments which do not reflect our Group’s philosophy and convictions. OHB-System AG, the company managed by Mr. Smutny, is responsible for the operational implementation of space programs under the roof of OHB Technology AG. General statements on space technology policy and other political matters are the sole reserve of the holding company.
I wish to stress that we maintain excellent relations with all French institutions and companies in the French aerospace industry out of conviction. I personally have numerous close friendships with representatives of the French space sector. In addition, I would like to expressly emphasize that the OHB Group and the Fuchs family have always unreservedly been proponents of the “Galileo” project initiated by the EU.
Immediately after the Wikileaks documents were published, I therefore asked Mr. Smutny on the basis of the provisions of his service contract if there was any truth in the statements attributed to him. Mr. Smutny declared in a statutory oath that he did not make the statements attributed to him. I have no knowledge causing me to question this declaration.
The OHB Group expressly repudiates all the statements attributed to Mr. Smutny in the WikiLeaks documents and affirms its full and complete commitment to “Galileo” as the European Union’s first major space technology infrastructure product. The OHB Group will be devoting its entire resources and all its skills and abilities to ensuring the success of this project. The contract for the construction of 14 Galileo FOC satellites which OHB-System AG was awarded in January 2010 is proceeding according to schedule and will be completed in time and on budget. I am convinced and also proud that we are contributing to a successful chapter in European collaboration and European space technology.”