Five top executives leave Russian food retailer Magnit

MOSCOW Dec 4 (Reuters) - Russia’s second-largest food retailer Magnit said on Wednesday that five top managers are leaving the company but denied a media report that Chief Financial Officer Elena Milinova would also depart.

Russia’s business daily Vedomosti wrote earlier on Wednesday that six top managers, including Milinova, would leave, without giving a reason for the departures.

A Magnit spokeswoman told Reuters that Milinova will continue to work for the company.

The spokeswoman confirmed, also without giving a reason for the departures, that the director of the Ural District Sergey Sachenko, the director of the North-Western District Sergey Vydrin, marketing director Dmitry Sitnikov, the director for construction of large formats Viktor Lomakin and the director for development and launch Sergey Vinogradov will leave their posts.

Magnit is struggling to compete with rival X5 Retail Group and posted a 57% fall in third quarter net profit compared with the year-earlier period. In April, it suddenly dropped a $1.8 billion bid for smaller competitor Lenta

Some of those leaving the company previously worked at X5 with former Magnit CEO Elena Naumova.

Naumova left Magnit in June after just a year in the role due to disagreements over the company’s strategy. After her departure Jan Dunning took on the CEO job in addition to his role as Magnit’s president.

Last year state-controlled VTB, Russia’s second largest bank, bought a minority stake in Magnit from the retailer’s founder Sergey Galitskiy. VTB later sold part of its stake to Marathon Group, which is owned by Russian businessmen. (Reporting by Olga Popova, Writing by Anna Rzhevkina; Editing by Katya Golubkova and Kirsten Donovan)