Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Cronyism at Its Worst

Polish papers are trumpeting the impending change at the top of PKN Orlen, central Europe's largest oil company. The Kaczynski twins are pushing another less-than-qualified crony to run a leading Polish company thanks to the government's golden share. He will replace a much more qualified manager. When I wrote about this to my friend Piotrek, a keen observer of Polish business, here's how he replied:

It's just another day in Duck republic. Ryanair probably can't keep up with the demand for one-way tickets to Ireland and Britain. Its cronyism at its worse, my friend.

I could not have put it better. I know that each political appointee has an army of advisers to make sure he doesn't screw up too much. But at some point we have to ask when the sheer incompetence of political appointees will hurt these companies beyond short-term repair. The nationalistic Kaczynski twins are hurting the national champions they are trying to promote. This is how we run Duck Republic, Inc.

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