The CEO of the railway, Micha Meixner. (Photo: Shabtai Tal)
This coming Sunday, an electric train with 10 cars will enter the Navon station in Jerusalem.
This is a solution developed by the railway to respond to the increasing loads on the lines, in the absence of the possibility of adding train trips due to the train traffic jam in Ayalon and the government's delay in launching the fourth rail project.
From next week, it will enter regular operation on the line, with inspectors and the ability to transport 1,000 people at a time.
Despite this, the next day the board of the railway will convene for a rare meeting without the company's management, to discuss the removal of the respected CEO of the railway, Micha Meixner. The blame: asking the board to purchase additional cars to create more long trains, which the board claims is technically impossible.
This farce, it is not clear if it was taken from Ephraim Kishon's book or from the house of cards, takes place at an interesting time.
A day after the Government Companies Authority handed over the responsibility of Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich to Minister Dodi Amsalem, the Chairman of the Railway, Adv.
An experiment in operating the long train along the coastline a few months ago (Photo: CLOUDVIEW Shabtai Tal)
Moshe Shimoni, chairman of the train (Photo: Walla! NEWS system, All Time website)
The timing was no accident.
Shimoni, who was appointed by Transport Minister Miri Regev during her previous term in the ministry, has been seeking for a long time to oust Meixner, who is not politically affiliated with the Likud, has prevented political appointments in the government company, and succeeded in terminating the terms of political appointments from the past.
Meixner is respected among the professionals in the Treasury and the Companies Authority, in the environment of Smotrich and the previous Minister of Transport Merav Michaeli, which has so far prevented Shimani from succeeding in removing him.
Since being appointed to his position four years ago, after a long career in the private market and before that in the IDF, Meixner was able to move the important electrification project that was stuck and finish most of it, obtain a new labor agreement with the workers' council headed by Gila Adrai, sign a new operating agreement with the state, and embark on a rapid journey of adapting the train stations to the electric trains purchased by his predecessors, even though they were 20 cm lower than the train platforms.
Meixner is considered a matter-of-fact and professional manager, not a man of manners, one whose mouth and heart are equal.
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However, as soon as it seemed that the CEO was losing the protection of the Treasury and the Companies Authority, Shimoni rushed to request his removal. In a letter he sent to the members of the board, he claims that Meixner was negligent in purchasing additional cars that were required due to the heavy loads on the train, an action that was stopped by the legal advisors of the Ministries of Finance and Transportation, and because he does not speak Courtesy the directors.
However, the one who was quick to intervene was the Companies Authority, which announced last night that "the Authority believes that there is no reason to remove the CEO and opposes it.
The dismissal of the CEO may lead to negative consequences, including the fear of destabilizing the company and harming the promotion of the plans and challenges that are placed before it, to the point of harming the company's ability to provide the required level of services. Israel Railways is one of the most important companies in the economy and has a direct impact on the public. In recent years, under the leadership The company's CEO and chairman, the company was able to meet the most significant challenges and projects, while making sure to provide service to passengers. The Companies Authority considers it very important to continue the stable and continuous operation of the train."
Amsalem's office said that the practical responsibility of the Companies Authority will be transferred to him only next week.
There was no response from the Regev office.