VimpelCom picks new head for its Russian business

Russia's No. 3 mobile operator VimpelCom has appointed Mikhail Slobodin as the new head of its Russian business, and said current head Anton Kudryashov is moving to the group's executive board to run business development from the company's head office in Amsterdam.

Before joining VimpelCom, Slobodin was an executive vice president at TNK-BP, which was acquired by Russian oil producer Rosneft earlier this year. He has worked in a variety of roles in the oil and gas sector.

"Mikhail is an accomplished and recognized leader with many significant achievements in his career," VimpelCom CEO Jo Lunde saidr. "We welcome him to VimpelCom and I look forward to successful implementation of the already launched strategic initiatives to the further growth of our Russian business under his guidance."

Kudryashov, meanhile, will also be in charge of mergers and acquisitions at the group. His contract has been extended to Dec. 31, 2016.

"The replacement of the CEO may be followed by a further management reshuffle in Russia, as well as strategy revision," Gazprombank analyst Sergey Vasin wrote in a research note, according to Reuters.

"The attempt to boost efficiency by changing the management may encourage investors somewhat," Vasin wrote. "However, gauging the effect will only be possible when the new management's intentions become clear."

VimpelCom provides mobile and fixed voice and data services throughout Russia and the CIS, where its main competitors are MTS and MegaFon. It also owns Wind in Italy. The operator said it had 215 million mobile subscribers on a combined basis as of June 30, 2013.

For more:
- see this VimpelCom release
- see this Reuters article

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