Professor Janusz Filipiak

It is with deep sadness that we inform you about the passing of Professor Janusz Filipiak

an outstanding Polish scientist, entrepreneur and football enthusiast. We regret the loss of this very special figure, an exceptional mind and visionary who made a unique contribution to the development of the Polish IT industry.

Professor Janusz Filipiak was born on August 3, 1952 in Bydgoszcz.

He was a postdoctoral professor in technical sciences. He was involved in modern technologies for more than 40 years. He was an editor and author of journals, and a consultant to domestic and foreign institutions.

In 1976, he joined the Institute of Computer Science and Automation of the Faculty of Electrical Engineering, Automation and Electronics at AGH University.

He received his Ph.D. in 1979 on the basis of his two-volume thesis: "Dynamic Decentralized Control of Data Communication Networks". 

In 1984, he became a postdoctoral scholar.

At the age of 39, in 1991, he received a professorial appointment from President Lech Walesa of the Republic of Poland.

Professor Filipiak is the author of six books on data communications, three of which have been published in the United States and Western Europe including: "Modelling and Control of Dynamic Flows in Communications Networks" (SpringerVerlag, 1988) and "Real Time Network Management" (North Holland, 1991). He has authored more than a hundred articles on telecommunications and data communications, which have been published in a number of world-renowned specialist journals, including "IEEE Transactions on Communications”, "IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications" and "Operations Research”. He was the publisher of "Telecommunication Services for Developing Economies” (Elsevier, 1991). 

He has been a research consultant to France Telecom and served as director plenipotentiary of the Teletraffic Research Centre at the University of Adelaide (Australia). He has conducted research projects in laboratories in the United States and Canada.

 In 1993, he and his wife Elisabeth founded Comarch, Poland's first knowledge-based company.

As he himself wrote in his autobiographical book "Why We Succeeded": 

By today's standards – looking at our structure: professor plus students – we would be called a start-up. (…) Thanks to my academic experience and my wife's determination, we entered the IT market. We were not only younger and smaller than our competitors, but above all different. We wanted to develop our own software and believed we could sell it worldwide, including on the most competitive U.S. market. We have succeeded.

Janusz Filipiak became the president of Comarch S.A. in 1998.

In 2004, Professor Filipiak was awarded the Knight's Cross of the Order of Rebirth of Poland by the President of the Republic of Poland for outstanding contributions to the development of telecommunications and data communications, and in 2012, the Officer's Cross of the Order of Rebirth of Poland for outstanding contributions to the development of the national economy and for achievements in charitable and social activities.

In 2013, he received the 2012 IEEE Communications Society Distinguished Industry Leader Award for his contributions to communications and information technology.

In 2016, the President of the Republic of Poland recognised Professor Janusz Filipiak for his special contributions to Polish entrepreneurship by awarding him the Individual Economic Award of the President of the Republic of Poland.

In 2018, he was the only CEO from Central and Eastern Europe to attend the French International Business Summit, held under the patronage of Emmanuel Macron, President of France.

Professor Janusz Filipiak's great passion was football. Since 2004, he has served as chairman of the board of directors of the sports joint-stock company MKS Cracovia.

I started reading about Cracovia. It charmed me with its history. The fact that, despite the various historical turmoils that shook the continuity of various institutions in Poland, it still existed as the oldest football club, founded in 1906. Plus the fact that a lot of memorabilia and photos from different periods had been preserved, which showed respect for Cracovia's history, he wrote in the book "Why We Succeeded”.

He was known for his sharp language and controversial quotes, which were very often emphasised by journalists.

To this day, colleagues laugh that I am like Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde. During a match, I turn into a different person. Sometimes, I admit, I let my nerves go. That's when I explode.

Professor Janusz Filipiak dedicated his last – as it turned out – autobiographical book to his children: Anna Berenice, Janusz Jeremiah and Maria Klementyna.