Prior to the meeting with Putin, 15 top executives and billionaires defected from Russia’s largest business association

15 businessmen and top managers will immediately leave the board of the Russian Union of Industrialists and Entrepreneurs (RSPP), including billionaires Araz Agalarov (owner of the Crocus Group), Leonid Fedun (co-owner of Lukoil) and Alisher Usmanov (co-owner of Megafon and Metalloinvest). Informed sources informed RBC about this.

According to the publication’s interlocutors, the former general director of the Russian Post Maxim Akimov, the former head of Sibur Dmitry Konov, Stepan Solzhenitsyn, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Siberian Generation Company (SGK) and Alexander Iwlev, former managing partner of the consulting company EY for the CIS countries.

The main reason for the departure of businessmen and top managers from the RSPP board are sanctions and resignation from high positions in companies, the RBC interlocutor explained. According to him, they are no longer formally associated with the business and want “as little publicity as possible.”

Ivlev confirmed in the publication that he intends to leave the board of the RSPP in connection with the departure of EY from Russia. A Konov representative said that the businessman has not worked at Sibur since March 2022 and considers it inappropriate to formally remain as a board member of the RSPP.

In the Russian Post, Akimov’s departure from his post in the RSPP was explained by the change of general director. Instead of Akimov, Mikhail Volkov is at the helm of the company, so the Post asked the organization to update the data on the key representative.

Back in January, the oligarch Usmanov turned to the head of the RSPP, Alexander Shokhin, with a request to release him from membership in the board of the business organization. The billionaire explained this by “retiring and withdrawing from active work.”

The decisions of businessmen and top managers will be announced at the next RSPP congress on March 16, a source told RBC. As Bloomberg previously wrote, Russian President Vladimir Putin will attend the congress. This will be the first major meeting of the head of state with the leaders and owners of large companies in a year. Putin will demand more responsibility from them, e.g. due to the growing budget deficit against the backdrop of the war in Ukraine.


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