Top managers are flying out of Aeroflot

After the resignation of Aeroflot CEO Mikhail Poluboyarinov, part of the board may also change in the company.
Origin source
After the resignation of the general director of Aeroflot Mikhail Poluboyarinov (he will be replaced by the general director of Rossiya Sergey Aleksandrovsky), the company may change part of the board. RBC was told about this by three sources close to the air group.

Until mid-March, the board of Aeroflot consisted of nine people (including Poluboyarinov). But on March 16, Andrey Panov, Deputy for Strategy and Alliances, was expelled from it. In the next few months, at least three more deputy general directors may leave the board - Sergey Krylov (information technology), Igor Parakhin (technical director) and Vasily Avilov (administrative management), RBC sources say. In addition, the flight director of Aeroflot, Eduard Sovetkin, will join the board, adds a source close to the group.

“The issue of including the flight director of Aeroflot, Eduard Sovetkin, into the board of the company is under consideration,” an Aeroflot representative told RBC. According to him, the rest of the board will remain the same. “No other personnel changes in Aeroflot, as well as changes in the strategy and structure of the Aeroflot group regarding the merger of the group’s companies (it includes the airline of the same name, Rossiya and Pobeda. - RBC) have not been discussed and are not being considered” , he emphasized.

Who will join the team of the new CEO

A source in the company says that a directive is being prepared to terminate the powers of Poluboyarinov and appoint Aleksandrovsky as the general director of Aeroflot. A spokesman for the Federal Property Management Agency (the government owns 57.3% of the group) declined to comment.

The future head of Aeroflot, Aleksandrovsky, received carte blanche to form a team, according to a source close to the group. According to one of RBC's interlocutors, Anton Matskevich, who has been working with Aleksandrovsky in Rossiya for a long time, will most likely be appointed to Krylov's place. Parakhin could be replaced by Jan Burg, deputy general director and technical director of Rossiya airlines, adds another interlocutor. But after Aleksandrovsky took the post of acting. CEO of the Aeroflot Group, Burg became the acting CEO of Rossiya. Whether he will become the head of this airline and whether he will enter the board of Aeroflot at the same time, RBC's interlocutors do not specify.

The resignation of another deputy general director of Aeroflot, Avilov, has been discussed for a long time - before the departure of Poluboyarinov, sources say. Krylov declined to comment, Parakhin and Avilov could not be contacted.

Reasons for resignations at Aeroflot

The appointment of Mikhail Poluboyarinov as the CEO of Aeroflot in November 2020 was associated with the tasks of implementing measures within the framework of the group's strategy, which assumed an increase in its passenger traffic from 60.7 million to 130 million people by 2028, as well as a large-scale transformation, said RBC close to her a source. The departure of a top manager may be due to the fact that "in the current prevailing conditions of external restrictions, a revision of the company's strategy itself is possible," he explained.

Panov wrote on his Facebook page on March 10: “We left Russia. He left Aeroflot. The old life is over." He did not elaborate on other details.

A week earlier, on March 4, it became known about another resignation in the Aeroflot group - the permanent CEO of the Pobeda low-cost airline Andrey Kalmykov. “I made the difficult decision to leave our project. <...> I am staying in Russia and will develop other projects where I can be more useful under the current conditions,” he wrote in a letter to the team. According to two RBC sources in the Aeroflot group, Kalmykov decided to resign due to EU sanctions, which at the end of February banned European leasing companies from continuing to supply new aircraft and spare parts to Russia, as well as continue cooperation with the Russians. In accordance with these restrictions, Western lessors have already begun to detain foreign aircraft (Airbus and Boeing) of Russian companies abroad, including Pobeda. As a result, most carriers from Russia were forced to abandon most flights abroad in order to maintain their fleet.

"Temporary performance of the duties of the General Director in the Rossiya and Pobeda airlines until the approval of new appointments is assigned to the technical directors, respectively, Jan Burg and Andrey Yurikov, which is a consistent decision, taking into account the current requirements for increased responsibility for the technical condition of the aircraft fleet", — stated in the comments of the press service of "Aeroflot". Aeroflot is a public company, all issues related to management go through the relevant corporate procedures and are subject to official disclosure upon the decisions made, they added.

The representative of the air group separately noted that now the company's priorities are the organization of the return of passengers - Russian citizens who are abroad, as well as the urgent tasks of providing flights and maintaining transport mobility of the population of the regions.

A new person, as a rule, comes to the position of CEO with people who can support him in this role, which Aleksandrovsky does, says Ruslan Bostanov, partner, head of the Industry and Energy practice at Odgers Berndtson. At the same time, Aeroflot is under strong pressure from all sides - both Western countries (through sanctions) and the Russian authorities trying to resist them, he adds.