(Corrects headline to fix spelling of surname)
MOSCOW, March 27 The Kremlin has backed former
cable TV boss Sergei Kalugin to take charge at Rostelecom
, weeks after an ally of President Vladimir Putin
bought a stake in the state-controlled operator, according to
The Kommersant and Vedomosti dailies reported that the
appointment of Kalugin was imminent. A source close to the
Rostelecom board told Reuters the matter could be raised "at any
moment" during a board meeting on Wednesday.
The development comes weeks after Arkady Rotenberg, a
construction oligarch close to Putin, took a 10.7 percent stake
in Rostelecom in a move seen by analysts as a sign that CEO
Alexander Provotorov may be on his way out.
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.
The Prime news agency this month said Provotorov looked set
to lose his place on the board after the government backed a
list of candidates that did not include him.
Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, told Vedomosti and
Kommersant he could not confirm the reports of Kalugin's likely
(Reporting by Maria Kiselyova; Writing by Katya Golubkova;
Editing by Douglas Busvine and Ron Popeski)