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ⓘ Janos Petrenko was a Hungarian industrialist, inventor and politician, member of the National Assembly from 1990 to 1994. He was noted as owner of the first pri ..




                                     

ⓘ Janos Petrenko

Janos Petrenko was a Hungarian industrialist, inventor and politician, member of the National Assembly from 1990 to 1994. He was noted as owner of the first private large company, the rolling mill for heavy products within the Ozd Metallurgical Works after the fall of communism in Hungary.

                                     

1. Career

Petrenko was born into a mining family with eight children in Ozd on 30 March 1940. His parents were Gyorgy Petrenko and Jolan Kral. He grew up in the mining settlement of Banszallas today a borough in Ozd. He finished elementary studies there. He studied electro-mechanical engineering since 1958, at the age of 14. He worked for Ozd Metallurgical Works for 25 years. He joined Hungarian Communist Workers Party MSZMP in 1962.

He co-founded his company PEKO Works at Arlo in 1971, a small manufacture of high wear materials. Becoming a full-time private small entrepreneur, he owned the company from 1979 to 1989. He bought the rolling mill for heavy products section of the Ozd Metallurgical Works under bankruptcy proceedings for 100 million HUF in 1989, becoming the first private industrialist tycoon in Hungary following the transition to democracy. After lengthy legal and political wrangling, he took over the company under the name PEKO Steel Works on 1 January 1990. He also founded and owned PEKO Business, an export-import trading house for the company. Petrenko was also a noted inventor in heavy industry production, he had 187 technological innovations and 7 patents in metal drilling and plasma cutting until the end of Communism. Petrenko was a founding member of the presidium of the National Association of Hungarian Manufacturers MGYOSZ since 1991. He was also a member of Communist-affiliated trade union National Association of Craftsmen KIOSZ.

Petrenko retained his membership of MSZMP until its abolition. He became a founding member of the legal successor Hungarian Socialist Party MSZP in October 1989. He unsuccessfully ran as an independent candidate supported by MSZP in Ozd constituency Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen County during the 1990 parliamentary election, but was elected MP via his partys Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen County Regional List. Petrenko left the Socialist Party and its caucus on 27 April 1992, citing the existence of difficulty of boosting the economy, limited by party interests. Petrenko joined extra parliamentary Republican Party in November 1992. He was a member of the parliamentary Economic Committee for a short time between October and December 1992.

                                     

2. Personal life

Petrenko married manager Magdolna Varga. They had two sons, Tibor b. 1966 and Tamas b. 1971, both of them were officials at PEKO Works in the 1990s. Janos Petrenko died on 3 March 2020, three weeks before his 80th birthday.