The new CEO’s task is to drive TATRA through as a unique manufacturer of commercial off-road trucks worldwide.
Petr Karásek is taking up the office of CEO of the Kopřivnice-based TATRA company as of 1 October 2013. He is filling a position which became vacant after Ronald Adams left the company at the end of July this year. The new CEO is going to take charge of the operational management of the company, which has temporarily been carried out by Petr Rusek, the Chairman of the Board of Directors, and Radek Strouhal, the Vice-Chairman of the Board of Directors. The Board of Directors will continue playing an important role in approving the company’s overall strategy as well as monitoring its performance.
Petr Karásek has already been with Tatra since July this year. He joined the company as a consultant, along with other well-known personalities in the Czech automobile industry. Their assignment was to carry out and in-depth analysis of the company and propose a vision of Tatra’s successful future. As the owners and the Board of Directors have approved his proposals, it was decided that he would take up the office of CEO. “Petr Karásek is facing quite a challenging job to restructure Tatra and to get it on the road to prosperity. Jaroslav Strand and I are convinced that he is an excellent candidate for this job,” comments René Matera on the situation on behalf of both owners.
“The Tatra company must define its position on the market and, according to this, focus on priorities which will result in its stable growth,” Petr Rusek, the Chairman of the BOD, says and adds: “We are in agreement with the new CEO as regards to the view of Tatra being a unique company, which will, in the long run, specialize in the production of small batches as well as highly-specialized custom-made commercial vehicles, the off-road performance of which will make them the best in the world.”
Petr Karásek has commented on his new position of CEO as follows: “To become the head of a world-famous motor company with a strong brand, but one which is facing a difficult economic situation, is a great challenge. After an in-depth analysis of internal company processes as well as the situation on the world market with commercial trucks, I believe that Tatra’s future can be positive. However, in the current market condition, TATRA TRUCKS won’t become a truck company producing batches of thousands of pieces of identical vehicles. Its strength consists in the ability to seek and fill market niches and to specialize its production for them, to produce small batches of special unique trucks which need to have excellent off-road mobility.” Petr Karásek started his career at the end of the 1980s/at the beginning of the 1990s as a designer in the former Vysoké Mýto-based Karosa company. There, among others, he drove over 100,000 km during factory tests of trucks and buses (for details see Petr Karásek’s brief CV below).
Regarding the company situation, the new CEO says: “It is necessary for Tatra to undergo a sufficiently intensive internal restructuring. If it is supposed to work as a flexible manufacturer of special unique trucks, the structure of processes and organization as well as the abilities of the company’s employees must correspond with it. Changes are ready. They won’t always be pleasant, but they are essential for the survival as well as the further development of the company. We are going to discuss them intensively and directly with both employees and the Trade Unions.”
Andrej Čírtek Spokesman for TATRA TRUCKS, a.s.
TATRA TRUCKS a.s. Areál Tatry 1450/1, 742 21 Kopřivnice, Czech Republic Mobile: +420 602 494 208, phone: + 420 225 113 361 E-mail: email@example.com; web: tatra.cz
About Petr Karásek, CEO of TATRA TRUCKS a.s.
Petr Karásek, MBA, LL.M (49 years-old) is an experienced crisis manager who has a great deal of technical, commercial as well as managerial experience gained from many years of employment in the Karosa company based in Vysoké Mýto (currently Iveco Czech Republic). There he started as a designer of bus chassis. Later, he worked as a deputy of the chief designer and was responsible for various technical projects. After 1990, he started building a separate sales department in the company and after the joining of a strategic partner – the Renault company – he was responsible for all the company’s commercial after-sales activities as Sales Director. Within the multinational group, he primarily specialized in commercial activities in Russia and further countries of the former Soviet Union.
Since 2001, he has been dealing with restructuring and crisis management in manufacturing, primarily for engineering companies. For example, as a manager, he participated in the saving and recovery of the Škoda Transportation company, he also restructured AWELD, DISA and many other companies.
Petr Karásek graduated from the Faculty of Civil Engineering of the Brno University of Technology. He holds an MBA from Sheffield Hallam University. Furthermore, he completed postgraduate corporate, commercial and labor law studies at the Law Faculty of the Masaryk University in Brno. He is an external lecturer for the University of Economics, specializing in the topic of crisis management. Besides his native language, he speaks English, Russian and German. He has a driving licence for all vehicle types and has driven more than 100,000 km with trucks and buses in factory tests.
About TATRA TRUCKS a.s.
TATRA TRUCKS a.s. became the owner of the enterprise of the Kopřivnice Tatra company when it purchased it at an auction held in March 2013. The enterprise was auctioned off as a result of a long-term inability of the former owner – TATRA a.s. – to meet its obligations. TATRA TRUCKS a.s. is owned by two Czech entrepreneurs – Jaroslav Strnad and René Matera. Three months after the change of ownership, the company recovered its financial position, reporting an operating profit of almost 84M crowns and having an overall turnover of more than 762M crowns. The new management is gradually succeeding in regaining the trust of banks, subcontractors as well as customers, and under the new leadership the company is moving towards meeting this year’s target of over 800 trucks, which is a 100% increase compared to 2012.