Kirill Seleznev leaves Gazprom

This is the fifth loud personnel reshuffle in the holding for the last six weeks.
Gazprom dismissed Kirill Seleznev from the posts of general director of Gazprom Mezhregiongaz and head of department 314 (marketing, processing of gas and liquid hydrocarbons. - Vedomosti) due to the termination of the contract, the company said. In the board and department of 314 Seleznev will be replaced by his deputy, Gennady Sukhov.

Sergey Gustov was appointed CEO of Mezhregiongaz, who headed Gazprom LNG St. Petersburg LLC, which was involved in the Baltic LNG project.

As an independent project, the Baltic LNG (prepared by Gazprom and Shell. - Vedomosti) no longer exists. On March 29, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller announced that the gas liquefaction plant in Ust-Luga had become part of a joint processing project that Gazprom will work with Rusgazdobycha, and the project operator will be a joint venture of two companies, Ruskhimalyans LLC . Seleznev was appointed CEO of the operating company, reports Gazprom.

The sole shareholder of Rusgasdobycha is National Gas Group LLC (NGG), controlled by Arkady Rotenberg. Now 100% of NGG belongs to Artem Obolensky, Chairman of the Board of Directors of “SMP Bank” Arkady Rotenberg and his brother Boris.

Seleznev's resignation from the board is the fifth loud personnel reshuffle at Gazprom over the past month and a half. At the end of February, Valery Golubev and Alexander Medvedev, who oversaw the domestic market and exports, respectively, left the company's management board. Then Andrei Kruglov, who was in charge of the financial unit, left Gazprom. Vitaly Markelov retained a place on the board, but after the redistribution of powers, he ceased to oversee the holding's investment program.

Seleznev headed Mezhregiongaz for a third of his life: he will be 45 years old in April, of which for 16 years he was the general director of the sales subsidiary of Gazprom and 17 years old - a member of the board of the holding. Interlocutors "Vedomosti", close to the group of "Gazprom", describing Seleznev, always talked about him as a member of the "Miller team" and "untouchable."

“Unlike Medvedev and Golubev’s resignations, the reasons for which outside the press releases are rather unclear, it’s difficult to consider withdrawal from Seleznev’s board apart from two major scandals that occurred dangerously close to his“ diocese ”: attempts to write off gas debt in Chechnya and the Arashukovs' affairs, says Alexey Panin, a partner of Urus Advisory consulting company. “The version of the interconnectedness of these events is all the more likely to become mainstream, firstly, because of their chronological proximity, and secondly, due to the fact that both scandals have received serious sociopolitical resonance, which is rather an exception for the gas industry.”

At the end of December 2018, the Zavodsky District Court of Grozny decided to write off 9.3 billion rubles. of debt to the population of Chechnya to Gazprom, and at the end of January, Senator Rauf Arashukov from Karachay-Cherkessia was detained in the meeting room of the Federation Council. Simultaneously, in the Petersburg office of Gazprom (according to Interfax), his father, Raul Arashukov, Seleznev’s adviser, was detained. Arashukova Sr. was charged with creating an organized criminal community and stealing gas from Gazprom for more than 30 billion rubles. On April 11, the Supreme Court of Chechnya overturned the decision of the Grozny court. The process of Arashukov continues.

Whether the change of leadership in Mezhregiongaz is connected with these events, the representative of Gazprom did not comment, but stressed that Seleznev’s contract ends on April 14.

Regarding Seleznev's career, Ruskhimalyans is an increase in terms of responsibility (CEO, not a board member), but the RCA is a project with a complicated fate, especially after Shell’s departure, Panin says: can be considered a career growth without any reservations. "