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Czech Railways suffer from the syndrome of frequent rotation of CEOs. How does the Czech Republic compare to Germany and Austria?

Czech Railways suffer from the syndrome of frequent rotation of CEOs. How does the Czech Republic compare to Germany and Austria?
photo: Archives/Czech Railways suffer from the syndrome of frequent rotation of CEOs. How does the Czech Republic compare to Germany and Austria?
18 / 02 / 2022

While the average time spent in the chair of the CEO of ČD (Czech Railways) since 1990 is about two years, our neighbors don’t make these strategic leadership position changes as often.

In the Czech Republic, since 1991, 14 CEOs have taken over the Chairman of ČD. Deutsche Bahn, Germany, had only five CEOs in the same period. And the Austrian ÖBB had a total of eight CEOs over the same horizon. Frequent personnel changes in the management of ČD thus make records in comparison with our neighbors. After all, in comparison with Germany for ex., Czech Republic has had almost three times as many managers in the chair of the head of the national carrier.

There lies the question – how can such a CEO establish any long-term strategy if he has never been given the time to implement it? And his followers have no obligation to continue it? Among the EU states, it is Germany and Austria which are at the forefront of setting long-term strategies and plans when it comes to the railways. This can be reflected in the issue of modern railway technologies, which are often just being introduced in the Czech Republic.

The head of the German DB has held a leading position for five years and has worked for the state carrier for about thirty years

Dr. Richard Lutz is the CEO of Deutsche Bahn AG (DB), after high school, he studied business administration and then worked as a research assistant at the Department of Business Administration at Kaiserslautern University, where he received his doctorate in 1998. He joined DB in 1994. He held a number of managerial positions and positions in strategic project management in the company’s financial and control divisions. He also worked as the head of corporate controlling since 2003 and in 2010 he became a member of the Board of Directors for Finance and Controlling. He remained there until the end of 2018. Since March 2017 he has been the Chairman of the Board and the CEO of DB.

The head of the Austrian national carrier has been working at ÖBB for 40 years! And he has been running the company for six years

Ing. Mag. (FH) Andreas Matthä graduated from the Vienna University of Technology with a degree in civil engineering, where he graduated from high school and later obtained an engineering degree. He then completed a course in business management at the Vienna University of Applied Sciences, where he graduated in 2002 with the degree of Mag. (FH). He continued in Vienna, where he was responsible for bridge and civil engineering at ÖBB, and from 1986 he worked at ÖBB at the General Directorate for Bridge Construction. In 2005, he became an authorized signatory and a Head of the Controlling and Finance Department at ÖBB-Infrastruktur Bau AG, where he was a spokesman for the Board of Directors in 2008 and 2009. Since 2008 he became a Member of the Board of Directors, Finance, Markets, and Services Department. And in May 2016, he became the CEO of ÖBB-Holding AG. He is also the President of CER (Community of European Railway Companies).

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