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Downloading PPF Will Be Different Without the Boss Around, But We’re Prepared to Continue Working at Full Speed, CFO Jirásková Says

    She was among the closest people working with Petr Kellner in recent years. As Chief Financial Officer of PPF, Kateřina Jirásková has detailed knowledge of capital flows, the most important strategies, new partnerships, and deals. She will have to utilize all that in the coming weeks and months to defend PPF’s interests as well as those of Petr Kellner’s family. And she has to come to grips with his death. “I already miss that no one will correct my Excel table on a Saturday night. And I haven’t even fully processed his loss,” she told HN in an interview.

    HN: When did you learn about Petr Kellner’s tragic accident?
    On Sunday night. We hoped for a little while that it wasn’t true. It’s a massive loss for the family. PPF was always a family-run company with short decision-making processes, so it’s a huge loss for the entire group as well.

    HN: How much will his death threaten PPF itself?
    We’re already a very large group that has established detailed management and decision-making processes. In 99% of cases the executives make decisions themselves. Petr Kellner planted a tree that grew to be large with strong roots. We’re not toothless. He wouldn’t allow for such a risk. We’re prepared to continue working at full speed. It certainly won’t be easier, but we are prepared.

    HN: Who will lead PPF now?
    The top post will be taken by Láďa Bartoníček, who already manages the group on a day-to-day basis. He will now take over the more strategic tasks as well as operations. It’s not a matter of days. It will take a while, but Ladislav is the first and logical choice. Up to now, he has focused on telecommunications, media, and partially biotech company Sotio.

    HN: Have you set up some sort of supreme executive body?
    Yes. We continuously speak together. We’ve had one meeting after another since this morning.

    HN: Does that mean that Jiří Šmejc will fully return to the management as the co-owner of Home Credit?
    Jiří Šmejc never left. He just left his executive role as Home Credit CEO. He continues to be a strategic representative of the group and he will naturally remain one. Furthermore, there is Jean-Pascal Duvieusart as a PPF co-owner. We’re all together, so Ladislav Bartoníček will not have to make decisions alone. We all have our own competencies and responsibilities, and we know how to make the necessary decisions. We have strong teams in individual countries, but we’re also understandably looking out the window and thinking about the past, the future, and we’re still in shock. I already miss that no one will correct my Excel table on a Saturday night. And I still haven’t fully processed his loss. It will be a different PPF, because the boss isn’t here anymore, but the processes work.

    HN: Will some deals be halted? What about the merger of Home Credit and Moneta?
    I don’t expect it. The boss wouldn’t have wanted it either. We are dealing with the technical way to proceed as some necessary documents have to go to the direct owners of the companies. We’re dealing with just practical things and we don’t want to be stopped by technicalities. We’re trying to operate as though he was here with us. But please give us some time. For example, we’re discussing how much we'll speak to the media to prevent misinformation, and we’re also talking with the banks. We’re active in all areas.

    HN: Do you think the group will comment the inheritance proceedings as some point?
    I don’t know. That will depend on the family’s wishes.

    HN: Do you see anyone in the family joining the management?
    It’s the other way around. If anyone wants to participate, then it’s their right. But let’s let the family deal with their grief for now.

    HN: How much did Petr Kellner manage the group recently?
    About two years ago he started to pull back from daily operations. PPF is currently the most independent it’s ever been in terms of executive leadership. Petr Kellner wanted it that way. Maybe it was his age or because he wanted to live differently. He got rid of the daily headaches, which helped him to think strategically. He also built a senior management team he knew that he could trust if he didn’t want to come to work for a year. That doesn’t mean that PPF will remain the same. It will change. But in the coming months we’ll be in the same line-up you already know. We’re a large multinational group that can stop for a day or two and then start fully moving again. Just like any other day. As if the boss was here.

    Autor | Jaroslav Mašek
    Zdroj | 

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