MOSCOW, March 4 Alexander Provotorov, the CEO of Russian telecom firm Rostelecom, looks set to lose his place on the company's board after the government backed a list of candidates that did not include him, according to Russia's Prime news agency.
The government, which has a 53 percent stake in Rostelecom via state holding company Svyazinvest, has been critical of management's plans to expand in the competitive mobile market, as well as a weak share price, prompting media speculation that Provotorov could be replaced.
Prime cited an unidentified source on Monday as saying Provotorov was not included on a list of board candidates backed by the government. Rostelecom declined to comment.
It remained unclear whether Provotorov could hold on to the chief executive position if he was eliminated from the board.
The list included the former CEO of Swedish telecoms group Tele2's Russian unit, Dmitry Strashnov; the head of state telecoms holding company Svyazinvest, Vadim Semyonov; and VEB Capital head Yury Koudimov.
"The list is approved by the government," Prime said, citing the source.
Provotorov took the helm at Rostelecom in July 2010 when the communications ministry was headed by Igor Shchyogolev - now in the Kremlin as an aide to President Vladimir Putin. Last April Provotorov's contract was extended until mid-July 2015. (Reporting Anastasia Teterevlyova; Writing by Maya Dyakina; Editing by Megan Davies and Mark Potter)