Ryszard Skarbek, Finance Expert in Kraków, Poland
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Ryszard Skarbek

Verified Expert  in Finance

Management Consulting Expert

Kraków, Poland
Toptal Member Since
May 17, 2022

With 30 years of professional experience, Ryszard brings deep expertise in HR, employee engagement, leadership, PMO, and organizational change management. For seven years, Ryszard served as HR head for Global Shared Services Organization. He has led enterprise-wide transformation programs impacting 70,000+ employees and helped mid-size companies with organizational culture change initiatives. He is a Certified Leadership Coach with 10+ years of continuous coaching experience.

Career Highlights

Global Head of HR Operational Excellence
Philip Morris International
Lead HR Business Partner
Philip Morris International

Education Highlights

Bachelor's Degree
The Pontifical University of John Paul II
Master's Degree
AGH University of Science and Technology

Certification Highlights

Business Mentor at Executive MBA Studies
University of Economics, Cracow, Poland
Leadership and Executive Coach
Institute of Leadership and Mangement London, UK
Waterfall PM Expert
Philip Morris Intl. in line with PMI standards

Case Studies

Work Experience

Founder | Managing Partner

2020 - PRESENT
Empowerment Coaching
  • Founded a boutique consulting company focusing on HR, HR tech, change management, and leadership coaching and mentoring.
  • Designed and implemented the foundation of the HR function for the worldwide leader in the production of beekeeping equipment.
  • Outlined the strategy for implementing a project-based organization (PBO) for a mid-sized manufacturing company.
  • Conducted employee engagement and internal communication audits followed by an organizational change management program.
  • Conducted a comprehensive survey on project managers' engagement levels in a global high-tech company and recommended a focused leadership skills development program for PMs.
  • Invited as a business mentor for participants of Executive MBA studies at the University of Economics, Cracow, Poland, and supported 15 business leaders with individual leadership coaching sessions.
  • Practiced leadership coaching regularly using the GROW method with over 1,000+ hours of individual coaching completed.
  • Served as an authorized channel partner for the Great People Inside (GPI) platform, the world's only fully customizable 360° competency assessment and research platform.
Focus areas: Mentorship & Coaching, Human Resources (HR), Human Capital Management, Leadership Development, Employee Engagement, Employee Communication, Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS), Organizational Change Management (OCM), Business Coaching

Head of PMO for Global HR Operations Transformation

2018 - 2020
Philip Morris International
  • Orchestrated the transformation of the global HR services organization and its processes for all geographical regions, including three regional hubs (Europe, LA&C, and Asia), in line with the corporate transformation of Philip Morris International.
  • Established and staffed the program management office. Defined and implemented the PMO framework, standards, and operating practices.
  • Designed and maintained the PMO dashboard. Coordinated regular project progress reporting, risk assessment, and status update reviews.
  • Oversaw annual budgeting and cost control for a 600+ employee organization.
  • Designed and implemented the framework for project managers' capability building and continuous support.
  • Acted as a global HR service's focal point for the corporate strategic program management office.
Focus areas: IT Projects, Projects, Change Management, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Service Design, Process Design, Project Management Office (PMO), Program Management, Shared Services, Agile Project Management, HR Transformation, Business Transformation

Global Head of HR Information Management and Training

2017 - 2018
Philip Morris International
  • Oversaw HR information and systems management, content management, internal communication, internal capability building, and learning services units in the global HR services organization.
  • Designed, developed, and implemented the first-ever HR function chatbot and an RPA solution.
  • Designed and established the community of internal trainers and multi-level certification and awards program. The concept has been copied as a best practice in other functions.
Focus areas: Shared Service Centers, Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS), IT Projects, IT Project Management, Capability Build-out, Shared Services, Agile Project Management, HR Transformation

Global Head of HR Operational Excellence

2014 - 2017
Philip Morris International
  • Spearheaded the operational excellence, internal capability building, and HR analytics units in the global HR services organization.
  • Designed and implemented a Lean culture framework. Gamification was used as a tool to foster employee engagement. Used automated, lean boards to track and analyze organizational KPIs.
  • Matured a descriptive analytics service and designed and implemented predictive analytics dashboards.
  • Introduced storytelling into an HR analytics service and standardized the science of colors.
  • Designed and implemented the workload analysis framework. The outcome was used to optimize the organizational design and staffing of the global HR service organization.
Focus areas: Shared Service Centers, Lean Analytics, Operational Excellence, HR Analytics, Workforce Analytics, Workforce Management (WFM), Service Design, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Shared Services, HR Transformation

Lead HR Business Partner

2007 - 2014
Philip Morris International
  • Acted as HR head for Philip Morris International Service Center Europe (PMI SCE). The center delivers corporate financial, HR, IT, and supply chain management (SCM) services for the European Union, Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa regions.
  • Managed the full scope of HR: EB/EVP, recruitment, onboarding, job evaluation, employee performance, social partners relationship management, learning, talent management, rewarding, payroll, benefits, and employee exit and retirement.
  • Designed and globally ran the program for coaching culture building. Dozens of people leaders were trained and certified as performance coaches. The entire coaching culture framework was conceptually designed and successfully made operational.
  • Implemented the first-ever company kindergarten in the Polish sector of shared services centers. Given the high competitiveness of this sector in Poland, this solution ensured a significant improvement in the retention of employees.
  • Delivered outstanding results, leading to PMI SCE being awarded multiple times as an employer of choice in the Polish SSC/BPO industry sector.
Focus areas: Shared Service Centers, Human Capital Management, Human Capital Strategy, Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS), Culture Development, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Business Coaching, HR Transformation

Manager of Information Services (IS)

2006 - 2007
Philip Morris International
  • Acted as the head of the information services function.
  • Designated as one of 12 pioneers with the mission to build and develop a brand new legal entity from scratch. Today the entity employs 2,000 people.
  • Co-created the organizational culture building initiative (i.e., the definition of the mission statement and core values) and co-led its implementation across all organizational hierarchy levels.
  • Recognized as a valuable HR contributor and was invited to move cross-functionally from IT to HR.
Focus areas: IT Services

Team Leader: Plan to Produce Global SAP Development

2005 - 2005
Philip Morris International
  • Collaborated with a global project team to develop a corporate SAP template for Latin America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific. Ran a team designing plan-to-produce processes rolled out in the Swiss affiliate.
  • Managed a diverse team of various nationalities (Swiss, German, Dutch, Czech, and Portuguese).
  • Proposed a project activities tracking solution accepted as a best practice template for the entire global team.
Focus areas: Process Design

Manager of IS Systems ERP

2002 - 2005
Philip Morris International
  • Maintained and developed systems that supported the operations, finance, and HR departments in the Polish manufacturing affiliate of Philip Morris International.
  • Managed own budget and was in charge of achieving assumed key performance indicators (KPIs).
  • Invented and implemented an SAP-based solution for managing manufacturing specifications (BOMs and quality assurance) in Poland. The worldwide HQ has recognized the solution and used it as a template for the new global corporate standard.
  • Implemented the first-ever PMI solution for managing a high-bay warehouse integrated with an SAP ERP platform.
Focus areas: Process Design, IT Projects, Manufacturing

Corporate Talent Coach

2004 - 2004
Philip Morris International
  • Invited to a company-wide initiative to develop high-potential employees (HIPOs). Held this role on top of the regular manager of IS ERP systems position.
  • Trained and was dedicated to coaching the group of four high potentials selected from various functions. This was a 9-month program based on the action learning method.
  • Delivered a successful coaching program where all graduates from my group now hold high-level management roles.
Focus areas: Leadership Development, Talent Management, Mentorship & Coaching, Business Coaching

Project Manager Global SAP HR Implementation

2001 - 2002
Philip Morris International
  • Implemented the first global corporate template for HR data management in Poland.
  • Conducted fit-gap analysis and risk analysis. Coordinated user acceptance and integration tests. Ultimately in charge of the whole change management for Poland.
  • Retired seven old technology applications, reduced the ongoing systems maintenance cost, and increased HR systems users' satisfaction.
Focus areas: IT Projects, Project Leadership, Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS), Change Management

IS Project Development Manager

1997 - 2002
Philip Morris International
  • Maintained and developed non-SAP software solutions supporting the operations, finance, and HR departments.
  • Executed the restructuring of the assigned IS team, which required retiring and hiring employees.
  • Implemented the first Polish tobacco industry manufacturing execution system (MES), enabling automated production planning and tracking.
Focus areas: IT Project Management, Project Leadership, Manufacturing
1990 - 1991

Bachelor's Degree in Philosophy

The Pontifical University of John Paul II - Cracow, Poland

1986 - 1991

Master's Degree in Computer Science

AGH University of Science and Technology - Cracow, Poland


Business Mentor at Executive MBA Studies

University of Economics, Cracow, Poland


Design Thinking Practitioner

University of Virginia Darden School of Business


Leadership and Executive Coach

Institute of Leadership and Mangement London, UK


Waterfall PM Expert

Philip Morris Intl. in line with PMI standards


IT Projects, Projects, Change Management, Organizational Change Management (OCM), Service Design, Project Management Office (PMO), Leadership Development, Business Coaching, Mentorship & Coaching, Human Resources (HR), Shared Services, Leadership, Shared Service Centers, IT Project Management, Human Resource Management Systems (HRMS), Employee Engagement, Employee Communication, Project Leadership, Team Leadership, Project Management, Waterfall Methodology, Human Capital Management, Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), Culture Development, Talent Management, HR Transformation, Process Design, Program Management, SAP, Manufacturing, HR Analytics, IT Services, Organizational Design, Capability Build-out, Workforce Management (WFM), Human Capital Strategy, Business Transformation, Design Thinking, Lean Analytics, Operational Excellence, Workforce Analytics, Agile Project Management

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