First Deputy Chairman Of Gazprom Executive Board Announces Resignation

The managerial crisis in Gazprom, which had been obvious only to the few, turned into an open scandal at the end of last week, on the 149th day in office of (new CEO) Alexei Miller. During a discussion of the questions of SIBUR, Gazprom Executive Board First Deputy Chairman Pyotr Rodionov, the only representative of the 'old' management to be promoted under Miller, announced his intention to resign. The government's attitude to Rodionov's move is condescending ("a person has the right to show emotions"), but the government considers it dangerous to continue to ignore the deep managerial crisis that has engulfed Gazprom in the past five months. The Board of Directors has tried (not for the first time) to decide the fate of two assets of Gazprom, SIBUR and shares in Purgaz, transferred to Itera. The scandal broke out when the reporter on the issue, Pyotr Rodionov, suggested on behalf of the Executive Board that the decision on SIBUR should be postponed. A source in Gazprom explained that Rodionov had been instructed to make this suggestion by Miller, who was taken to hospital the day before the meeting of the Board. Following an emotional discussion, Rodionov gave a more definite opinion that it is unacceptable for the company to participate in the additional issue (of SIBUR shares), because new investments in SIBUR would mean embezzlement of Gazprom's assets. Nonetheless, the Board of Directors will have to once again discuss the question of SIBUR at a special meeting in a week. The apparent managerial crisis gave rise to speculations about possible resignation of Miller. Yet, these have been not more than speculations so far, the Vremya Novostei newspaper wrote.

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