Vitaly Saveliev clutching at the helm of Aeroflot with a deadly grip

The state is ready to pay a contract with him for another 5 years.
The state is ready to extend the powers of the Director General of Aeroflot Vitaly Saveliev for another five years. The directive on this issue is directed to the airline, the board of directors must issue a decision on August 30. According to Kommersant sources, the likely alternative candidate was ex-Minister of Transport Maxim Sokolov, who ultimately, apparently, will get the chair of the board of directors of Aeroflot.

Deputy Prime Minister Maxim Akimov (in charge of transport) approved a directive to representatives of the state on the Aeroflot board of directors on the issue of electing the airline's CEO. From the document that Kommersant familiarized with, it follows that representatives of the Federal Property Management Agency (51.2% of shares) should support the early termination of the powers of acting general director Vitaly Saveliev and re-elect him to this post for another five years. In Rosimushchestvo, "Kommersant" confirmed the existence of the directive. The Ministry of Economics was informed that they sent it to the government. In the office of Mr. Akimov and Aeroflot, they declined to comment. A source close to the board of directors of the company confirmed to Kommersant that the directive had already been received by Aeroflot and that the question of extending Vitali Saveliev's powers would be considered at the next meeting of the council on August 30.

The contract between Mr. Saveliev and Aeroflot expires on October 25, he occupies this position for more than nine years. Will the contract of the 64-year-old top manager be renewed, in the industry they began to discuss in the spring. In June, at the Aeroflot shareholders' meeting, the top manager himself said that this decision was "not his own, but of the government." In early July, Kommersant sources in the presidential administration told me that Mr. Savelyev received the president's approval "verbally on the results of a series of meetings."

Rumors about a possible replacement of Vitali Saveliev were fueled and the departure of several key members of his team from Aeroflot. In March, the deputy general director of Aeroflot for strategy and alliances, Giorgio Callegari, resigned, and a month and a half later - deputy general director for commerce and finance Shamil Kurmashov. According to Kommersant's information, Dmitry Saprykin, the general director of Aeroflot, a member of the Aeroflot group, can also switch to the post of general director of Vnukovo airport (they declined to comment).

Preservation of the post for Vitali Saveliev was supported by the new Transport Minister Yevgeny Dietrich, who sent a proposal to the Ministry of Economy in mid-July to extend the contract. An alternative nominee in the industry was considered to be ex-minister of transport Maxim Sokolov, nominated to the board of directors of Aeroflot (see "Kommersant" on July 9).

The current composition of the board will work until October 23, when an extraordinary general meeting of shareholders will be convened to elect a new one. Mr. Sokolov appears on the list of candidates from the state instead of ex-head of MTS Vasily Sidorov. According to Kommersant sources, Maxim Sokolov "may more likely take up the post of chairman of the board of directors" that "would best fit his ex-ministerial status."

However, one of the interlocutors of Kommersant admits that the question of Vitaliy Saveliev's replacement for Maxim Sokolov can still be raised.

The executive director of the agency "Airport" Oleg Panteleev believes that during the leadership of the airline Vitaly Saveliev has repeatedly demonstrated the ability to find a compromise between unprofitable socially oriented projects (transportation on a "flat tariff" and the export of fans of the 2018 World Cup) and the achievement of positive financial results. The team of Mr. Savelyev has unfinished business, the expert adds, including the development and implementation of a long-term development strategy and a "painful buyout procedure" for 7 billion rubles. shares from minority shareholders who did not support the deal on leasing 50 MS-21 aircraft. It is logical, Mr. Panteleev believes, if the team will decide the task, initially approved this idea.