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Changes at top of Slovak Railways, Columbex, McDonald's

Michal Lazar, 40, has become the general director for Železnice Slovenskej Republiky (Slovak Railways, ŽSR), taking his position at the end of June.
Coming from the computer firm Columbex, Lazar (pictured below) mainly wants to negotiate the restructuring of ŽSR's payment calendars with Slovak banks and drive the firm to obtain long-term loans with foreign banks. To be able to do this, Lazar said, "the firm and the political situation has to be stable."
Lazar graduated from Comenius University's Law Faculty in 1980, obtaining a degree in international law and trade. Lazar's first career stop was at Omnia, a foreign trade company where he was responsible for exporting engineering products to Africa and Asia.



Michal Lazar, 40, has become the general director for Železnice Slovenskej Republiky (Slovak Railways, ŽSR), taking his position at the end of June.

Coming from the computer firm Columbex, Lazar (pictured below) mainly wants to negotiate the restructuring of ŽSR's payment calendars with Slovak banks and drive the firm to obtain long-term loans with foreign banks. To be able to do this, Lazar said, "the firm and the political situation has to be stable."

Lazar graduated from Comenius University's Law Faculty in 1980, obtaining a degree in international law and trade. Lazar's first career stop was at Omnia, a foreign trade company where he was responsible for exporting engineering products to Africa and Asia.

Lazar speaks English and German, which he has used frequently since 1987 when he worked as a representative for Czechoslovakia at the Austrian bank Girozentrale and its daughter company, Vienna Commerz. In that position, he was responsible for exporting and importing computer technology, chemicals, food and textile products. In 1990, Lazar joined Columbex International as one of the owners and its executive director.



As Lazar left Columbex, that created an opening quickly filled by Pavol Krcho, 35, (pictured at right) who moved into the director's chair at the end of June.

Born in Nitra, Krcho graduated from the Faculty of Management at the University of Economy in Bratislava in 1984. The first important turn in his career was when Krcho started working for JBA, an English software house, where he was the firm's manager for Slovakia. The second turn that steered him towards his present position occurred when Krcho joined SRS, a German consultancy firm, where he worked as its trade director.

As a result, Krcho, who is single, is multilingual and easily employs both English and German. In 1995 Krcho received his masters degree in economics.

In his free time, Krcho said his favorite way to relax is to read while listening to music. He also enjoys playing tennis.

Now as director of Columbex, Krcho sees his goal as "doing my part at Columbex. People now are approaching the gateway to the information era. And Columbex is one of the companies that can bring them closer to this era."



Klaus Hammer, 35, was appointed the Operations Manager for McDonald's Slovakia at the beginning of July. Hammer comes from Austria, where he served as a crew worker at McDonald's since 1982 to finance his university studies. Later he decided to drop out from university and stay with the company. As Hammer says, "It is never too late to start again."

Proving his point, Hammer (pictured above) quickly worked his way up Ronald's ladder. In 1983, Hammer became Assistant Manager, and four years later he became a restaurant manager. In 1993, Hammer took the position of a Business Consultant for McDonald's operations in southern Austria and Slovenia. During this time, McDonald's opened its first restaurant in Slovenia.

In 1994, Hammer became the Operations Consultant for Central Europe South, supervising the fast food giant's expansion to Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia and Slovenia. Two years later, Hammer was appointed the Operations Manager for Croatia, moving from there to his current position.

Hammer's goal is simple: "To sell hamburgers, to develop local staff, to teach people a new style of work, and to transfer the corporate identity and know-how to local McDonald's companies."

Hammer, who has five children, speaks English along with his native German. Hammer used to play rugby and American football in his spare time, but now he likes to spend more time with his family.

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