Gazprom Sacks CFO - Making Way For Putin's Man

Gazprom, the world's top natural gas producer, has fired its chief financial officer as President Vladimir Putin increases state control over a company that accounts for eight percent of economic output.

Boris Yurlov, Putin's first deputy chief of staff, will replace Vitaly Savelyev, who was appointed eight months ago, Gazprom said in a statement.

“One more of Putin's own men is entering the company,” said Valery Nesterov, an analyst at Troika Dialog brokerage in Moscow. “The government's influence is certainly increasing.”

Putin has tried to strengthen government control over Gazprom, which is thirty eight percent state owned, since coming to power in 2000. Alexei Miller, a one time deputy energy minister, was named to head the company last year. The new management has restored control over some gas assets lost to rivals under former Chief Executive Rem Vyakhirev and focused on fuel production.

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