Vratislav Kulhánek was the transformational Chairman of Skoda from 1997 to 2007.
In 1981 he started his business career in the Economic Planning Department in the Motor Jikov company in Èeské Budìjovice, an important supplier to the Czech car industry. He was promoted to the position of Director of Purchasing, then became Director in charge of Commerce and then Chairman. From 1992 to 1997 he was the Managing Director of Robert Bosch Ltd, a company founded as a joint venture with the Motor Jikov company.
In 1991, Skoda was bought by Volkswagen. Investment by VW resulted in a remarkable change of fortune for Skoda, in terms of sales, manufacturing, product design and quality. In the words of the New York Times “Skoda’s turnaround is one of the most dramatic in Central Europe.”
Vratislav was elected as Board Chairman of Skoda, in April 1997. He left the board of Skoda in 2007, when he became a partner in Industrial Advisers Ltd. Since 1997 he was Chairman of the Automobile Industry Association of the Czech Republic and Vice-Chairman of the Industry and Transport Association of the Czech Republic.