Former cable boss tipped as new Rostelecom head - source

MOSCOW, March 16 Sat Mar 16, 2013 5:56am EDT

MOSCOW, March 16 (Reuters) - Former cable TV boss Sergei Kalugin has emerged as a candidate to replace Alexander Provotorov as chief executive of Russia's state-controlled Rostelecom, a source close to the company told Reuters.

The development comes two weeks after Arkady Rotenberg, a construction oligarch who is close to President Vladimir Putin, took a 10.7 percent stake in Rostelecom in a move seen by analysts as a sign of an upcoming management change.

The government, which owns 53 percent of Rostelecom via state holding company Svyazinvest, has been critical of its weak share price and of management's plans to expand in the competitive mobile market.

Earlier this month, Russia's Prime news agency said Provotorov looked set to lose his place on the board after the government backed a list of candidates that did not include him.

Kalugin was the head of National Cable Networks, leaving the post after Rostelecom bought its parent company last year. "Kalugin emerged as a potential candidate a while ago," the source said on Saturday. Rostelecom declined to comment.

Rotenberg, a former judo sparring partner of Putin, is one of a group of oligarchs who have made their fortunes since he came to power in 2000, and whose rise reflects the Kremlin's increasing influence in business. (Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Writing by Katya Golubkova; Editing by Melissa Akin and Mark Trevelyan)

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