The committee on appointment of heads of strategic enterprises (the Nomination Committee) has decided on the candidate to recommend to the Cabinet of Ministers for approval as the board chairman of the Ukrzaliznytsia public railway company. He is Wojciech Balczun, who previously headed the Polish railway company PKP Cargo. Minister of Economic Development and Trade Aivaras Abromavicius announced this at a press conference on Tuesday, 12 April, the CFTS correspondent reports.

According to Abromavicius, the Nomination Committee selected Balczun from a shortlist of five candidates.

Balczun was born in 1970. He graduated from the the University of Silesia in Katowice with a degree in political science. He also has an MBA degree. He began his career as the sales director of the Trybuna Śląska regional newspaper in Katowice and then worked at the Polish national postal service, Poczta Polska, and the bank PKO Bank Polski.

He joined Polish Railways (PKP) in 2005. He headed the supervisory board of PKP from 2005 to 2007. He was the director of the Polish freight railway company PKP Cargo from January 2008 to January 2013. He joined the supervisory board of the national carrier LOT Polish in April 2012. He is also the vice president of the Polish branch of the Vice President of the European Centre of Employers and Enterprises providing Public services (CEEP).

In 2007, he became the leader of the Chemia rock band, with which he recorded five albums. He is married with two children.

Balczun has won many business awards. He was voted Manager of the Year in 2010 for his achievement in restructuring of PKP Cargo. The Bloomberg Businessweek Polska publication included him on the list of the top 20 anti-crisis managers in 2012.

Thus, the Nomination Committee has performed its function. "He still has to be approved by the Cabinet of Ministers. Therefore, it is a bit early to rejoice. We made representations immediately after the competition. If … the Cabinet of Ministers moves quickly, it will be a very positive signal and it will be a very big plus for the possibly outgoing minister," Abromavicius said when the CFTS correspondent asked him what was next in the procedure for appointing the head of Ukrzaliznytsia.

Roman Bondar, a partner with Talent Advisors, commented on the selection process: "We did not experience pressure on us. It was even interesting because we expected it. I am very satisfied with the quality of the commissions and the Nomination Committee."

As reported, 31 candidates, including eight foreigners, participated in the competition for the post of general director of Ukrzaliznytsia, but the list was not officially was revealed. 

The Ministry of Economic Development and Trade announced the competition for the post of general director of Ukrzaliznytsia on 25 February and stopped accepting applications on 25 March.

The previous competition for the post posts of general director of Ukrzaliznytsia and two airports, which the Ministry of Infrastructure began in December 2014, was blocked by a lawsuit filed by the AeroSvit airline’s former head Kyrylo Zvonarev. head of the engineering company Corum Group, Yevhen Romaschin (he no longer holds this position), the former general director of North American Interpipe (Houston, United States), Daniel Valk, and the financial director and director of strategy at the Farmak company, Dina Nemyrovich, qualified for the final of that competition. As a result of the lawsuit, the competition did not take place.