We do not separate work and private life much, say the daughters of Martin Procházka in an interview with But our dad did not cut us any slack work-wise

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February 20, 2024

Czech family-owned businesses established in the 1990s have to confront a fundamental question these days: how and to whom should they pass on the leadership?

The founders, often nearing retirement age, sometimes struggle to find a suitable successor within their families. Yet, this is not the case for one of our founders and current majority shareholder, Martin Procházka. After more than thirty years of nurturing the company, he has embarked on the gradual transition of the business to his daughters, Zuzana Hofová and Eva Vodenková. And this transition is not only practical but also formal.

Read in the interview for, a Czech nationwide daily specialising in economics and politics, about the journey that led them to leadership within the company, their relationship with OKsystem, and what they consider most crucial in their work and business.

Over the years, you have significantly expanded from a small company that rented a few offices in the Holešovice market. What has changed actually?

Eva Vodenková (E.V.): A lot has changed indeed. We have transitioned from several offices in the Holešovice market to owning a building in Pankrác instead. We have expanded with branches in Brno and Ostrava, employing more than 450 staff members and extending our operations internationally. Three out of the four founders have either retired or pursued other interests. Presently, we are among the largest purely Czech companies in the IT sector. It has not always been easy, but even during tough times, we have managed to keep the company running and growing.

What is your relationship with the company OKsystem?

E.V.:  Both of us appreciate what our Dad has built, and we understand what OKsystem means to him. He has dedicated most of his life to it, and we practically have too. My sister and I started working for the company during our teenage years, taking on part-time jobs at the reception or in the finance and business departments. We are grateful for the opportunity to work together, as we have good relationships with each other, and can rely on each other, which is invaluable both in family and in business. Being transparent with one another makes identifying and solving issues easier. Even though all three of us meet at work daily, we strive to get along together like any other family. We spend our free time together, participate in sports, and go on vacations as a family. My sister and I have children of similar ages, we live close to each other, so we are strongly connected. Some employees even mistake us for twins, both in the company and at the gym.

Zuzana Hofová (Z. H.): A strong bond within the family is essential to us. Indeed, we do not separate work and personal life much, and matters unresolved at work might be addressed during our joint run, for example. We enjoy working at OKsystem, and being here has brought us many benefits. From the flexibility we had while raising our children, to the early opportunities for taking on responsibility, and now having the chance to influence many aspects of the company. It was not automatic for us to reach the top leadership positions a few years ago. Both of us had to demonstrate our abilities and motivation to move the company forward, to develop and enact positive change.

Considering that both of you have Master’s degrees, I presume that your university education was also focused on information technology, so the apple does not fall far from the tree.

E.V.: Our Dad had ambitions to enrol us in one of the computer science programs at the Czech Technical University (ČVUT), but both of us took our own paths. We graduated from the University of Economics. I studied national economy, and Zuzka studied international economic relations.

Was your father’s transfer of part of his shares in the company to you at the end of last year a long-term plan, or was it his spontaneous decision?

Z.H.: When he brought it up at the end of 2023, it was a pleasant surprise for us. Although Dad is no longer involved in the day-to-day management and focuses more on strategic decision-making from his position as the chairman of the board, he still possesses plenty of energy and drive. We did not know anything about the plan for transferring shares, and neither of us had sought such a thing.

Had you never discussed the question of succession within the family before that?

E.V.: We had never talked about it. But that is also because OKsystem has only become a family business in the last few years. We have been part of the top management for several years, and everything has unfolded so naturally. Gradually, we took on responsibility for various aspects of the company, and we did not really concern ourselves with ownership stakes in the company.

Z.H.: It is probably necessary to explain here that the original OKsystem split into two parts years ago on lawyers’ advice. One of these parts is the software company OKsystem itself.  The other part is the owner of the property in Pankrác, which we utilise - and all four founders hold their stakes there.

What is the current ownership distribution, and who is involved in the company’s management?

Z.H.: Our Dad holds the majority stake in the company and he has the final say in strategic decision-making. Both of us,  along with Vítězslav Ciml, who serves as the director, are responsible for the day-to-day operational management of the company. Víťa leveraged his previous experience in multinational companies and gradually worked his way up to his current position with us.  All three of us have an equal minority stake. We consider it essential for senior management to be invested in the company’s success. This setup has been working well for us, to the general satisfaction of all involved.

Does the acquisition of these shares in the company change anything for you?

E.V.: Basically, not much changes for us. We have been working for a long time here, and the employees have known us - some of them for decades. We have good relationships with each other and are surrounded by functional teams and capable department heads whom we can rely on. It is still crucial for us to foster an open corporate culture and maintain a friendly working environment. On the other hand, last year’s changes in the ownership structure mean an even greater sense of responsibility for us.


Ing. Zuzana Hofová (44)

Zuzana Hofová graduated in International Economic Relations from the University of Economics in Prague. She joined OKsystem in 2000 as a financial accountant in the finance department. Over the following years, she served as the head of the finance department, and since 2013 she has been managing the finance section. In her position as the financial director, she is responsible for financial accounting, payroll processing, logistics, and controlling. In her free time, she enjoys practising sports such as tennis, volleyball, running and skiing. Her hobbies also include travelling and gastronomy, which she shares on her Foodstagram.

Ing. Eva Vodenková (41)

She graduated in National Economy from the University of Economics in Prague. She joined OKsystem company during her studies as part of her internship in the sales department. After graduating, she pursued her career in Switzerland, working for the British recruitment agency Michael Page. She returned to OKsystem in 2009 as a business manager. In 2014 she joined the HR department, and in January 2018, she was appointed HR and Operations Director. Like her entire family, she is actively involved in sports, regularly playing tennis, cycling, dancing, and skiing in winter. She also enjoys exploring new places, cultures, and customs.


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