Malkalen - Eight months after the death of Ishukone CEO Otro Gariushi, the Ishukone board appears to be close to naming a successor, according to sources close to several Ishukone executives. The news comes as a welcome bit of relief for Ishukone stockholders, who have seen the stock on a slow but steady decline while most other Caldari megacorporations have been heading towards recovery in the last few months. Anxiety about the lack of someone at the helm were only compounded in November, when the two leading candidates, Denalia Guinna and Joga Ruivannen, resigned after investigations by the vetting panel turned up numerous allegations of improprieties.
According to sources at Ishukone's headquarters, the two leading candidates for the CEO position are Ishukone Watch CEO Mens Reppola and Minedrill CEO Soisonen Okalala. Reppola has been in charge of Ishukone Watch for some time, having been brought in by Gariushi after mustering out of the Navy. Reppola was a member of the late Gariushi's inner circle and has privately echoed many of the former CEO's concerns with Tibus Heth. While he expressed some surprise when the true extent of Ishukone and the State's financial woes was revealed last spring and summer, he has been critical of the Caldari Providence Directorate's "eagerness to undermine the established foundations of the Caldari State with only vague promises of something better."
Okalala, on the other hand, has only been the CEO of Minedrill for seven years, having come up through the corporation's ranks over the course of nearly forty years, beginning his career as a mining foreman. Okalala has been considerably more sympathetic to the initiatives of Heth and the CPD than most Ishukone executives, and he was one of those leading the call to back the Directorate after the Malkalen Incident. Minedrill has also been considerably more successful than many other Ishukone subsidiaries, despite the economic downturn, largely due to increasing mineral prices and efficient management. Their fortunes have only increased since becoming one of the first beneficiaries of the CAESA earlier this month.
Support for both candidates seems roughly equal, with many analysts saying the decision will likely rest in the hands of Natasha Ogemi, a moderate member of the board who has traditionally represented a swing vote on many issues. While staunchly liberal and an opponent of the war with the Gallente, she has expressed a considerable amount of support for the meritocratic reforms of the Directorate and was one of the first at Ishukone to publicly congratulate the Executor for the recent agreement with the Amarr.