Written by: Monika Mudranincová
The Moravian financier and oil tycoon, who took over CK Fischer last year, made about CZK 3.5 billion gross profit (from all his companies) and turnover in the tens of billions of crowns in 2003. He is now looking for new opportunities mainly abroad.
Zadák will be the first Czech vice-president in the multinational structures of the computer giant Hewlett-Packard. He is responsibie for public administration, education and health care in the sector covering Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
The chief of Zentiva announced that the company wants to enter the Prague and London Stock Exchanges and obtain almost CZK 3 billion for further development. If they succeed, its shares will be the first to enrich the Prague Stock Exchange in its ten year history.
The doyen of Czech banking lost his battle with ČSOB for the compensation money (so-called golden parachute) worth CZK 1.2 million in connection with his engagement at the fallen IPB. The court ruled that the payment would be in contradiction with ethical business principles.
Minister of Finance Sobotka fired his deputy Šulc. Despite Šulc’s background screening, it was later revealed that during communism he was a holder of a confidential address and mediator between foreign agents and the Czech secret police.
The Freedom Union chairman finished as chief of the governmental party. He offered his resignation after the Freedom Union failed in the European Parliamentary elections. The first vice-chairman Jan Hadrava should lead the party on an interim basis.
|Photo: Tomáš Kubeš
Pavel Bobošík: Constant forward motion
“STAND ASIDE FOR A WHILE and you’re out of the game,” is the favorite saying of Pavel Bobošík (40), co-founder and executive director of Sahm, the largest glass decorator in central and eastern Europe and the largest supplier of glasses for brand-name beverages in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. And he is the saying incarnate – it’s hard to catch him in a single place, as he’s a man of action. “Changing the world in 10 seconds is probably inherent in me, and although I’m trying to slow down a bit, I’m not having much success,” he admits with a smile. This trait might be the driving force behind his success in business. Ten years ago he built a firm in central Europe from scratch with a state-of-the-art production facility for decorating drinking glasses. In 1997 its glasses and pitchers won prestigious international competitions organized by BierConvent International, and a year later the firm won the Twelfth International Europe Award for Quality.
In ten years the firm’s employees have increased from the original decorator to 212. The “Entrepreneur of the Year” competition panel noted this remarkable growth, and in 2000 Bobošík was one of three finalists. But the recognition didn’t lull him to sleep. “One should never be satisfied, it’s important to constantly learn and adapt to new conditions,” he asserts. His wife Jana, once a television announcer and now a member of the European Parliament, is the first critic of the artistic impression and practicality of the products. Although Bobošík originally wanted to be an architect or a diplomat, he doesn’t regret that these dreams didn’t come true. In a certain own way his wishes have been fulfilled. “Sahm is an architect of drinking glasses around the world, and doing business with global customers requires diplomacy,” he says.
Photo: Jan Vágner
Josef Vozdecký: The world seen through a glass of wine
GENERAL DIRECTOR and board chairman of the wine group Bohemia Sekt Josef Vozdecký (59) runs a firm he led from the brink of extinction and turned into the sparkling and classic wine market sector leader. Last year the group, comprising eight companies, produced 27 million liters of wine, with sales of CZK 1.4 billion and a gross profit of CZK 150 million. Bohemia Sekt controls 25% of the classic wine and 70% of the sparkling wine markets in the Czech Republic. Vozdecký himself has endured several ownership changes and proven that he is the best manager for the current owner, the German family firm Dr. Oetker. No wonder – wine making is his passion and life-long love. “My wife claims that I see the world through a glass of wine because it looks better to me that way,” he says with a laugh.
He fondly recalls hiding in a wine cellar with his family in 1945, during WWII. “My cradle was made of grape vines,” says Vozdecký, now the boss of 349 employees. Although the “commute” between his home and his workplace in Starý Plzenec is just 500 meters, Vozdecký spends a lot of time on the road, learning about the competition, but says that flying is tough on him, as he can’t stand doing nothing. He longs to learn about all good wines. “But there are about 35 million vineyards in the world, so I’d need several lifetimes and liver transplants,” he chuckles. Today his greatest pleasure is a new product – Louis Girardot brut that he helped bring into the world. “It’s my youngest child,” says the winemaker, who is convinced that Czech wines are able to compete on the EU markets.