Written by: Monika Mudranincová
Photo: Vojtěch Vlk
The director of Linet was declared the overall winner of Ernst & Young’s prestigious Entrepreneur of the Year contest. Linet products have already won quality awards nine times at international fairs of medical equipment, and in 2000 the firm won the Czech National Award for design.
The director of the Czech company Systinet, which is ranked as one of the hundred best technological firms globally, signed a contract to provide software infrastructure for web services to the American e-merchant Amazon.com.
Photo: Vojtěch Vlk
The director and founder of Logos was a finalist in the Entrepreneur of the Year contest. Logos is also a winner of the Microsoft Industry Awards 2003, and was listed as one of the 50 fastest-growing IT firms in central Europe by a Deloitte & Touche survey. Logos
The president of the Czech Doctors’ Chamber, who faked information about his medical practice, survived the confidence vote. Yet he still did not explain the CZK 15 million deficit in the Chamber’s accounts, and threatened to expel his critics.
The ODS senator was deprived of his immunity and can now be investigated and charged for abusing the authority of a public servant. According to the police, as mayor of Chomutov he took a bribe of CZK 42 million for mediating a sale of shares in energy and gas firms four years ago.
Photo: MF Dnes
The Senator, who as a TV Nova boss did not want to glorify the totalitarian past by broadcasting communist films, is now united with the communists. Together they founded a senatorial club and named Železný chairman. He will have a higher salary and the right to use a senatorial car.
|Photo: Tomáš Kubeš
Alexander Pilař: Riding the waves of development
IN JUNE 2004 Prague will become one of the three main global centers of the largest international parcel transport service, DHL. The project, which will result in a center of shared services, will bring investments amounting to CZK 16 billion over five years and will offer thousands of people prestigious jobs. Alexander Pilař (40), a Czech who has been working in London for DHL, will be in command of the gigantic endeavor. “It will be a thrilling adventure,”says Pilař, who after many years is returning to where he started out.
A graduate of ČVUT (Czech Institute of Technology), he joined the Prague branch of DHL in 1992 as IT manager, and he ran the operation from 1996 to 2000. It was a stormy boom period when the company prospered and grew. They took note of this in London, where in 2000 he was offered the position of information systems director for Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. He was then named program director for special projects all around the world. The manager, who evidently likes life in England, says that in the spring he will be moving back to his native Prague.
” My life will change a lot,” admits this father of two daughters, the younger of whom was born in London. “It is my greatest wish that the girls will get used to living here, that they will like it,” Pilař says frankly, adding that the most important thing to him is to always maintain a balance between his work, family, and hobbies. He is pleased that so far he has been able to do this, seeing as how he can occasionally set some time aside for his beloved yachting. This summer he successfully completed the demanding, six-day Fastnet race from England to Ireland.
Photo: Tomáš Kubeš
Dragan Skalušević: From mariner to merchant
DRAGAN SKALUŠEVIĆ (39), the sales director for Ikea Czech and Slovak Republics, was originally a seaman by trade. The Serbian continued in the spirit of his family’s tradition and reached the rank of second mate, but his feeling that he hadn’t time for his family brought his career at sea to an end. Thirteen years ago he completely reversed course and decided to enter the “club” of the furniture giant. He was won over by the corporate culture, which is based on maximal openness. “I’m very happy here,” he says. “An accomodating approach and no ties.”
After several years for Ikea in Belgrade he went to Poland as head of sales, and later on became the director of a department store in Poznan. In 2000 he dropped anchor in the Czech Republic. His team’s work was recently crowned with success in the Czech Republic’s Best Merchant 2003 competition (announced by Fincentrum and GE Capital Multiservis). The economic results confirm the positive trend. In the last fiscal year 3.5 million people visited Ikea in Prague, and more than 1.8 million paying customers accounted for an anticipated turnover of nearly EUR 74 million. Skalušević is pleased with the success, but he modestly explains in his soft Czech that his subordinates deserve most of the praise. “I’m one of them, one seven-hundredth,” he says with a laugh.
Skalušević’s non-elite status on the Ikea team is borne out by the fact that he has no secretarial pool, and performs his duties in an office along with the others. He even reinforces the team spirit in his off time. As the goalie for the Ikea floorball team he turns aside opponents’ shots, and he enjoys visiting his Czech friends with his wife and their three children. He can imagine spending his entire life in Prague, but his great dream is to return some day to the former Yugoslavia and build an Ikea store there from the ground up.