Mr. Zdenek Bakala has owned the Team since 2011. Bakala is a Czech-born businessman, investor and philanthropist. He is active in diverse businesses ranging from energy to media across several continents and in philanthropy. Zdeněk Bakala’s contributions have always gravitated towards cultural or intellectual development and human rights. In 2007, he founded the Zdeněk Bakala Foundation, which provides scholarships at prestigious universities abroad to talented Czech students.
He also supports the Václav Havel Library as a centre for the documentation and research of modern Czech history, with an emphasis on promoting the ideas and works of former Czech president Václav Havel. Zdeněk Bakala is a partner of DOX – the Centre for Contemporary Art – and he initiated the opening of the CEE affiliate of the Aspen Institute, an educational and policy studies nonprofit organisation. He is also a member of the Board of Trustees at the Tuck School of Business.
In sports one of the most important development was the establishment of Bakala Academy, which officially opened for business in October 2013. Located on the prestigious campus of Leuven University in Belgium, the academy was established with the objective of creating a center of excellence to promote innovation and education in cycling and sports in general, as well as contributing to the development of sports within an international, cultural and economic context.
Mr. Zdenek Bakala
The Etixx - Quick-Step Cycling Team is supervised by a Board of Directors. The Board consists of 8 members who are tasked with the overall guidance of the team, both on a technical and strategic level. The Board's Executive Chairman is Dutch businessman and top manager Mr. Bessel Kok, with Belgian cycling legend Mr. Eddy Merckx acting as Vice Chairman. Mr. Patrick Lefevere, the team's CEO, has a strategic role within the Board, acting as the primary liaison to the Pro Cycling Team.
The other members of the Board are Mr. Hans-Joerg Rudloff (Chairman of Barclays Capital Bank), Mr. Derk Sauer (International Media Tycoon), Mr. Frans De Cock (ex CEO Unilin), Mr David Paul (Investment Manager) and Mr. Auret Van Zyl (Secretary General). This group, which represents an impressive depth of experience in a wide range of fields, is now the driving force behind a number of new activities and projects being implemented within the Etixx - Quick-Step Cycling Team.