Final Word from Wednesday, June 26, 2002

Based on a survey of 300 experts, Lidové noviny named Chair Vratislav Kulhánek of Škoda Auto as Manager of the Year. Tomáš Němeček of Respekt wondered what Kulhánek has done recently that's so wonderful. Škoda's profits were down a third last year, he said, and not even the modest goal of maintaining last year's sales is being met this year. CEO Terrence Valeski of Eurotel, LN's Manager of the Year in Telecoms, said Kulhánek's role at Škoda is mainly ceremonial. Valeski said he personally prefers to be more hands-on. Kulhánek admitted in a recent radio interview that he doesn't expect to move up the corporate ladder, because he doesn't have what it takes to compete against VW's experts. It's no secret that Germans are the ones really running Škoda, but it wouldn't look so good if a German were named Czech Manager of the Year.


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