MOSCOW, Sept 4 Russia's third-largest mobile
operator Vimpelcom has appointed a former TNK-BP
executive to run its Russian business, the company said on
Mikhail Slobodin, previously executive vice president of
strategy and new business development at energy company TNK-BP,
will head the phone company's business in Russia, Vimpelcom said
in a press release. TNK-BP was bought by Russia's top oil
producer Rosneft earlier this year.
Slobodin is replacing Anton Kudryashov, who has run
Vimpelcom's Russia division since the beginning of 2012.
Kudryashov is moving to Vimpelcom's executive board to run
business development from the company's head office in
Amsterdam. He will also be responsible for mergers and
Vimpelcom has assets in Italy and various emerging markets,
but its largest market is Russia, where it has lagged rivals New
York-listed MTS and Megafon .
"The replacement of the CEO may be followed by a further
management reshuffle in Russia, as well as strategy revision,"
said Gazprombank analyst Sergey Vasin in a research note.
"The attempt to boost efficiency by changing the management
may encourage investors somewhat," Vasin wrote. "However,
gauging the effect will only be possible when the new
management's intentions become clear."
Vimpelcom also recently hired the former finance chief of
the biggest U.S. mobile provider Verizon Wireless as it moved
its shares to U.S. technology market Nasdaq after
nearly two decades trading on rival NYSE Euronext.
Vimpelcom was not immediately available for further comment.