Ukraine’s Minister of Infrastructure Vladyslav Kryklyi introduced the new board chairman of the Ukrainian Railways joint-stock company (Ukrzaliznytsia), Volodymyr Zhmak, to employees of the company on 27 August following his appointment to the position by the Cabinet of Ministers on 26 August. 

The Ministry of Infrastructure announced this in a statement, the CFTS portal reports.

Kryklyi said that a number of important tasks aimed at further developing the company had been set for Zhmak.

"Volodymyr Zhmak was interviewed as part of an open competition for the post of board chairman of Ukrzaliznytsia, and the company's supervisory board selected him from more than 100 participants. He has 25 years of experience in managing large companies. Before his appointment, he headed the supervisory board of the Boryspil airport, he was a member the Kyivstar telecommunications company’s supervisory board and advisor to the president of the company for a long time, and he was the first deputy governor of the Odesa region from 2015 to 2016," Kryklyi said.

According to the minister of infrastructure, the new head of Ukrzaliznytsia has been tasked with reorganizing the company’s staff, eradicating corruption, and implementing an anti-crisis program that will allow the company to return to its pre-crisis financial performance. In addition, Zhmak is tasked with implementing structural reform, particularly dividing the company into freight, passenger, and infrastructure operators.

Kryklyi also said it was necessary to optimize the work and improve the working conditions of the company’s train drivers, conductors, and other railway workers, improve passenger transport service, digitize processes, and introduce new technologies.

“We must say goodbye to inefficient or corrupt employees. In this context, the head of Ukrzaliznytsia must be a tough manager working for the financial well-being of the company. It is also necessary to stop duplicating functions and get rid of unnecessary administrative personnel in the railway industry. Of course, this does not apply to core employees, such as drivers, conductors, and other railway workers. They need to be protected and their working conditions need to be improved," Kryklyi said.

In addition, it is necessary to build a transparent and modern system for improving safety and passenger transport service, which will track ticketless passengers and transmit information about the number of tickets sold and the number of people traveling in wagons in real time.

"The new head of Ukrzaliznytsia should continue to work towards creation of a competitive railway market and attraction of private carriers to the railway industry. This will help to eliminate the shortage of traction and Ukrzaliznytsia’s monopoly on the in the industry," the minister said.

The Minister of Infrastructure also thanked Ivan Yurik for leading Ukrzaliznytsia during the difficult anti-coronavirus quarantine period.