Karnowski replaces Wasiak in the chair of PKP


Jakub Karnowski. Photo SGH.

As we go to press, Infrastructure Minister, Slawomir Nowak, has just completed a press conference in Warsaw where he announced the composition of a new slimmed-down PKP SA main board .

Out go: Finance Director, Pawel Piesniewski; Director of Property, Pawel Olczyk; and Director of Real Estate Management, Romuald Bosakowski. In come: Jakub Karnowski, to take the post of chairman; and Piotr Cizkowicz, whose title is yet to be announced. Maria Wasiak, formerly in the chair, retains her position on the board.

According to Radio Zet, the savings made by reducing the PKP main board to three persons will allow the company to pay sufficiently attractive salaries to employ suitable qualified ‘professionals’. The old 4-person board cost 120k PLN/month, the new board will cost 138k PLN/month.The deposed board members will not be sacked, but rather moved to other positions in PKP.

According to Puls Biznesu, Nowak wants Karnowski to set up an investment fund based on PKP’s real estate assets, and to use this fund to ensure that PKP has ‘own funds’ available for the completion of projects for which EU funding has been allocated. Karnowski’s other challenges will include reducing the PKP debt mountain and arranging for the privatisation of PKP Cargo.

Nowak announced the new board’s priorities as:

  • modernizing the PKP IC rolling stock fleet and the purchase of new rolling stock
  • completion of the upgrade of existing lines; Warsaw – Wroclaw journey times to be reduced to 3.5 hours by 2015
  • replacement of life expired points
  • improving safety at level crossings – 2,000 level crossings to be modernised by 2015

Jakub Karnowski

Karnowski obtained a PhD in economics from SGH (the Warsaw School of Economics). He is a member of the USA Chartered Financial Analyst Institute, was awarded an MBA by  University of Minnesota (USA). He was awarded a scholarship by The Margaret Thatcher Foundation to study at the London School of Economics.

Karnowski’s last position – which he left to take up his new job as boss of PKP – was chairman of PKO Banks investment fund, PKO TFI, a position he occupied since October 2008. Between 2003 – 2008 he worked in the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the International Development Association, the Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency | World Bank Group. In 2002 he was appointed the Director of the Department of Foreign Affairs of the National Bank of Poland. Karnowski is probably best known in Poland for introducing a student loan scheme in 1997.

Piotr Cizkowicz

Cizkowicz studied at SGH under Professor Leszek Balcerowicz and has now returned to his alma mater as a research fellow specialising in economic growth, monetary policy, public financing and econometrics.

Since 2008 he has also worked for Ernst and Young where he managed a number of reseaarch projects for private and public clients and also manged the Sprawne Panstwo (Efficient State) programme for the company. Between 2007-2009 he was an adviser to the Ombudsman for Civil Rights regarding the reform of the Polish Health Service. In 2002, he started working for the National Bank of Poland.  From 2004 – 2008 he headed the bank’s department responsible for international benchmarking.

(A hat tip to Marek Ciesielski for alerting us to the changes at PKP’s main board.)

2 Responses to “Karnowski replaces Wasiak in the chair of PKP”

  1. John Savery Says:

    Pleasing to see that PKP are still blazing a trail in following the British way of running / privatising a rail company in appointing a board with no previous rail experience. And on the day that Network Rail have been fined £4m for lapses in Health and Safety resulting in the Grayrigg crash. Lessons learnt, or lessons ignored?

  2. Gavin Whitelaw Says:


    As per usual, politicians here and obviously in Poland see a quick Buck to be made by appointing bankers, who, it has been found out, cannot even run banks without losing money!

    But as long as palms are still being greased who in power actually cares?

    Good news(ish) re Smiegel though………!

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