Microsoft’s Shymkiv joins Presidential Administration to lead economic reforms

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President Petro Poroshenko made a bold prediction in announcing that former Microsoft Ukraine chief executive officer Dmytro Shymkiv will become his new deputy chief of staff on July 9.

“Ukraine will become a country of super-fast, most efficient technologies,” Poroshenko said. “On the basis of the Presidential Administration we will create a single platform for cooperation on the issues of reforms implementation and consolidation between president, government, Verkhovna Rada and, which is the most important, civil society.”

Дмитро Шимків, ГП Нова Країна, Громадянська Платформа Нова Країна, Нова Країна,

This is at least the third prominent businessman to get a key position in Poroshenko’s administration. Earlier, he hired former media manager Borys Lozhkin as chief of staff and agriculture mogul Yuriy Kosyuk as first deputy chief of staff.

The nation’s leader sees introduction of electronic government as Shymkiv’s first mission, while his overall area of competence will include supervising administrative, social and economic reforms.

“Among 100 officials, 99 are against the reforms now. Yesterday I was working in a 22nd century corporation and today I’m in an 18th,” Shymkiv described his feelings. He doesn’t believe that current employees of the official bodies are working effectively.

“It’s necessary to assess the public bodies’ human resource potential. There will be volunteers who are willing to audit these human resources,” he said, noting that he already senses strong opposition to change even within Poroshenko’s administration.

Shymkiv, 39, is graduate of Lviv Politechnic University and later studied at Harvard Kennedy School. He has been working in an information technology sector since 1998 and seems to have a vision of how high technology may stimulate economic development which would lead to better corporate performances, as well as higher tax revenues.

After being employed at Alta Copenhagen, Danish IT company, he came back to Ukraine in 2002 to head company’s Ukrainian unit. Shymkiv became sales director at Microsoft Ukraine in 2007 and was promoted to the position of CEO in 2009.

The global giant’s Ukrainian subsidiary has been more focused on the sales direction of its business, though Shymkiv was known for his attempts to bring some of the Microsoft’s research & development to Ukraine. Under Shymkiv’s management, the Ukrainian division was recognized as Microsoft’s best regional unit in 2011 for the substantial effort in coming out of the crisis in company’s local performance. Moreover, the parent company found Shymkiv’s staff and hiring policy very effective.

Hanna Hopko, a civil activist for Reanimation Reform Package, believes Shymkiv will finally introduce e-government in the Presidential Administration. “But we really hope this will not be necessarily done by Microsoft,” she adds.

Ellina Shnurko-Tabakova of Ukraine’s Association of IT companies is personally acquainted with Shymkiv and hopes he will bring Microsoft-type “bureaucracy” to Poroshenko’s administration. “The main goal of such a bureaucracy is to raise efficiency, improve processes, avoid corruption,” she explains. “I think Dmytro as a former employee of a global company understands what improving the efficiency means. Ukraine lacks Western-style management that he is used to.”

Meanwhile, Valeriy Pekar, deputy head for Ukrainian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs, is also optimistic about Shymkiv as he succeeded in Microsoft’s competitive staff hierarchy.

Петро Порошенко, Дмитро Шимків, Борис Ложкін, Юрій Косюк, Дмитро Шимків, ГП Нова Країна, Громадянська Платформа Нова Країна, Нова Країна,

What to expect from Dmytro Shymkіv?

Sector approach to economic stimulation

Previously Shymkiv said that Ukraine should bet on agriculture and medicine in its economic development policy. Focusing on growing the organic food, as well as using alternative energy sources could bring a lot of success in the agriculture, while neurosurgery based on bio- and nanotechnology could boost local medical services. Nanoelectronics and robotics are also of high potential for Ukraine, according to Shymkiv, who dares to foresee Ukraine’s success in launching space tourism.

Introduction of e-government

Shymkiv is a long-standing advocate of the e-government concept. Basically, this implies launching a web-portal that would be a platform for communication between the government and its citizens. You just need to fill in an online form to get any kind of document – whether this is birth certificate or renewing the individual tax code that you lost. This could substantially decrease that amount of people employed in the document issuing sector of public area which is Ukraine’s big problem.

Introduction of 3G and 4G wireless connection technologies

Ex-Microsoft Ukraine CEO believes that 3G technology may be introduced in the country by the year’s end if the regulator makes all the necessary preparations and conducts the tenders. Moreover, he thinks putting stronger effort in this direction would allow to introduce 4G, which is next generation of the wireless connection, in 2014.

Stronger intellectual property protection

Shymkiv is a well-known fighter against violating the intellectual property, so called piracy. Last year Lexfor, Microsoft Ukraine’s legal service provider, filed 12 lawsuits against local companies that were allegedly using illegal software. Generally, Shymkiv estimated Microsoft’s losses in Ukraine caused by wide-spread piracy at $200 million.

Innovative approach to working conditions in the Presidential Administration

As Microsoft Ukraine’s CEO, Shymkiv was allowing his employees to work from home and have flexible schedules which would depend on personal needs. Having an effective electronic communication is the main prerequisite for such a model.

Pro-feminist views

Newly-appointed deputy chief of president’s staff has strong views on the gender policy and believes that amount of male and female employees should be equal since two sexes have completely different life and work philosophy.

Kyiv Post staff writer Iana Koretska

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