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The three brightest candidates for the new head of ČD. Who will take the hot seat?

The three brightest candidates for the new head of ČD. Who will take the hot seat?
photo: Archives/Candidates' applications for the new head of the national carrier selection procedure have been submitted. ČD is currently interviewing managers who have applied. RAILTARET presents the names of the three most serious candidates for the new CEO of ČD. Which of them will sit dow in the hot seat?
21 / 03 / 2022

Candidates' applications for the new head of the national carrier selection procedure have been submitted. ČD is currently interviewing managers who have applied. RAILTARET presents the names of the three most serious candidates for the new CEO of ČD. Which of them will sit down in the hot seat?

Michal Krapinec

The first serious candidate for the new CEO of ČD is Michal Krapinec, the current chairman and board member of ČD Telematika. RAILTARGET was the first to inform you about his candidacy. Krapinec has many years of experience at both ČD, ČD Cargo, and ČD Logistic. At ČD, he served as the Project Office Director, the Strategy and Asset Management Department Director, and the Economics and Informatics Office Director. At ČD Cargo, he dealt with the management and administration of property holdings and was also Secretary of the Board of Directors. He was a member of the Board of Directors of ČD Logistic for two years. He has also led ČD Telematika for almost two years.

Krapinec's rather unusual hobby, his penchant for gambling, might be a source of embarrassment. It is known that he is into card games, specifically poker. In February this year, he even took part in a prestigious poker tournament for a whopping EUR 160,000!

Michal Krapinec at a poker tournament (Source: PokerZive.cz)

Tournament results (Source: Poker arena)

Krapinec was also involved in one media scandal. It concerned his vacation, which was paid for by the Chinese state. Krapinec allegedly found out at the terminal that he had been included in former Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka's delegation (ČSSD). The head of ČD's supervisory board at the time, Petr Moos, even wanted to have ČD's code of ethics updated because he considered it unethical for managers of the state enterprise to accept such valuable gifts.

Jakub Unucka

RAILTARGET was the first to inform you about Jakub Unucka's possible candidacy for the Czech Railways. In the meantime, Unucka has made it to the final round of the election and is being talked about behind the scenes as one of the three most serious candidates. Why? According to exclusive information from RAILTARGET, Unucka is the Finance Minister Zbyněk Stanjura's, knight.

Unucka is also an ODS politician, manager, and IT entrepreneur. From 2010 to 2017, he was deputy mayor of Klimkovice, Ostrava region. He subsequently became a representative and deputy governor of the Moravian-Silesian Region for transport. He is currently the First Deputy Governor of the Moravian-Silesian Region.

A crucial point in his CV is his close relationship with Finance Minister Zbyněk Stanjura. In an interview with E15 before the parliamentary elections, Stanjura raised the controversial topic of the national carrier's possible privatization. According to Stanjura, the carrier would be listed on the stock exchange, but the state would keep the majority of it. Is the national carrier privatization really in play, as former Transport Minister Havlíček warns?

Jakub Unucka and Zbyněk Stanjura at a tennis tournament (photo source: www.unucka.cz)

Bogdan Heczko

According to Heczko's statement for E15, he applied for the CEO of ČD tender because his name was in demand. However, he didn't specify who demanded it. Nevertheless, based on his CV, we can assume that Josef Bazala, the former head of ČD and ČD Cargo, or billionaire René Holeček may be pulling the strings behind the scenes.

Heczko would be no newcomer to ČD. Previously, he served as CFO of ČD Cargo, where he was also a Board of Directors member. Bazala brought him to the freight carrier. Then Transport Minister Řebíček (ODS) even identified Heczko as one of Bazala's closest collaborators.

Heczko served in ČD Cargo management for three years even though he had an apparent conflict of interest. It did not go unnoticed by the media, which repeatedly pointed out his links to billionaire René Holeček, a key player in Čechofracht (later AWT Čechofracht). At that time, it was in a very close business relationship with ČD Cargo, from which it leased wagons for its transport.

One of the original Třinec Ironworks privatizers, Holeček, also had friendly relations with Bazala. They also had a business relationship that eventually broke the Bazala's neck. Heczko's close connection to René Holeček is confirmed by their joint business, ITeuro, which dealt with enterprise information systems. For many years, Heczko also held managerial positions in Česká zbrojovka, which belongs to Holeček.

Josef Bazala and René Holeček at a golf tournament sponsored by ČD (Photo source: Reportéři ČT)

A five-member electoral commission is going to select the new ČD CEO. Its members are Ing. Miroslav Zámečník, ČD Supervisory Board Chairman; Ing. Lenka Hlubučková, ČD Supervisory Board Deputy Chairman and Deputy Minister of Transport of the Czech Republic; Tomáš Vrbík - Deputy Minister of Transport of the Czech Republic; PhDr. Tomáš Vyhnánek, Chairman of the Audit Committee of ČD, Ministry of Finance, and doc. PhDr.  MUDr. Mgr. Mgr. Radvan Bahbouh, PhD., psychologist.

According to an exclusive statement by the chairman of ČD's supervisory board, economist Miroslav Zámečník, the new ČD boss should be appointed no later than mid-April: "We want to give sufficient space, so you can't make it too short. The end of March would be optimal in terms of the company's needs. Let's say it should be over by mid-April," Zámečník told RAILTARGET in February.

 

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