Vladimir Potanin has been elected General Director of MMC Norilsk Nickel
Moscow, December 17, 2012 – OJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel (hereinafter, the Company or MMC Norilsk Nickel) announces that the meeting of the Board of Directors was held today. Resolution on election of the new General Director of the Company was adopted by the Board.
The appointment of Vladimir Potanin was approved unanimously. Vladimir Strzhalkovsky, who occupied this position since August 2008, resigned the office.
Board members expressed their gratitude to Vladimir Strzhalkovsky for the years of fruitful cooperation.
After taking the office during 2008 economic downturn, when the Company was forced to report a loss for the year due to adverse market conditions, Vladimir Strzhalkovsky managed to improve its financial condition. Since 2009, the Company has been showing profit consistently, improving its economic performance year after year. Thus, gross profit from metal sales increased by 88.9% by 2011 against 2009 and amounted to USD 8.3 bln. At the same period revenue grew by 64.7% to USD 13.3 bln. The Company was one of the few Russian companies which could overcome the financial downturn without closing operations in Russia, reducing the staff, or turning to the government for financial assistance.
Moreover, the total amount of debt has been reduced almost twice since the end of 2008, down to USD 7.7 bln.as at the end of 2011.
An important factor in reducing the cost of metals supply was the development of the Company’s own transportation and logistics system as well as fleet and infrastructure modernization. MMC Norilsk Nickel’s air project represented by its own corporate NordStar Airlines, initiated by Vladimir Strzhalkovsky proved its viability and efficiency, from both social and economic point of view.
The Company proved itself as a reliable investment tool, as dividend policy stipulated in the Company’s Charter was observed.
While Vladimir Strzhalkovsky was in charge of the Company, he managed not only to maintain stable performance indicators and improve the Company’s financial standing, but initiated the implementation of a number of important social projects. Thus, since 2011 the Company has been co-financing long-term target program involving relocation of Norilsk and Dudinka citizens to regions with more favorable natural climatic conditions. In 2011-2020 MMC Norilsk Nickel will invest RUB 8.3 bln. in implementation of this program (the total program budget, including funds from the federal budget and the treasury of the Krasnoyarsk Territory amounts to RUB 17.7 bln.). Under this program over 11,000 families will be relocated from Norilsk and Dudinka to the regions with more favorable climatic conditions. The Company has already allocated more than RUB 2 bln. for implementation of this program.
The Company also implements its own housing programs, under which almost 2,000 employees of the Company operations obtained apartments on favorable terms (50% of the property cost was paid by MMC Norilsk Nickel). The Company is also building nursery schools, sports facilities and social infrastructure in the regions of its operation and implements a lot of other social programs. Since 2011, on an annual basis, the Company ensures compensation of travel expenses for employees located in Norilsk Industrial Area and their families to recreation places and back home (previously, under labor legislation, the expenses were compensated once in 2 years). In November 2012 MMC Norilsk Nickel entered into a new collective agreement, securing its social obligations to the employees.
The company confirmed its status as a reliable major taxpayer by filling the budgets of all levels in the regions of its operations.
Vladimir Strzhalkovsky and his team managed to outline a clear strategy of the Company’s future development. In autumn 2011, the Board of Directors of MMC Norilsk Nickel approved the "Strategy of industrial and technical development of the Company until 2025." The company is to join the top five world leaders in terms of market capitalization. To achieve this goal a plan of development both in Russia and abroad was proposed.
In 2012 the Company also launched a large-scale environmental project involving the reduction of sulphur dioxide emissions in the Company’s Polar Division. The construction of two metallurgical shops at Copper Plant and Nadezhda Metallurgical Plant in Norilsk aimed at sulphur recovery from off gases of the Company’s Polar Division’s metallurgical operations will make it possible to capture no less than 95% of sulphur dioxide from off gases. It will contribute to considerable reduction of sulphur dioxide emissions into the atmosphere.
This project is not the only environmental project of the Company, it is constantly working on the reduction of the environmental stress. Last year only, RUB 16 bln. was invested for these purposes.
Vladimir Strzhalkovsky expressed confidence that the company will pursue its development course.
In 1983 graduated from the Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO, specialized in international economy).
1983–1990 worked in the USSR Ministry of Foreign Trade.
Starting from 1990 – became the President of the Interros Foreign Trade Association.
From 1993 – the President of UNEXIM Bank, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MFK Bank.
From August 14, 1996 to March 17, 1997 - First Deputy Prime Minister of the Russian Federation. Vladimir Potanin was in charge of economic issues.
In May, 1998 Vladimir Potanin takes the positions of the President of Interros.
Member of Competitiveness and Entrepreneurship Council of the Government of Russian Federation;
Vladimir Potanin has founded V. Potanin Charitable Foundation in 1999 – a non-government organization aiming to implement socially major long-term projects in domestic education and culture.
Vladimir Potanin has received the following awards and decorations:
For his merits before the Russian Orthodox Church Vladimir Potanin received various orders. In January 2007, Mr. Potanin was awarded the title of Officer in the Order of Arts and Letters by the French Ministry of Culture and Communications. In August 2007, awarded with the Order of Merit for the Motherland, IVth degree, by the decree of the President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin for active participation in successful promotion of the Sochi bid for the XXII Olympic Winter Games to be held in 2014.
In December 2009, Vladimir Potanin has received the Order of St. Anna (Second Degree) form Russian Imperial House “for his merits before motherland and Russian Orthodox Church”.
In 1977 graduated from V.I. Lenin Leningrad Institute of Electric Engineering, majored in Applied Mathematics. Mr. Strzhalkovsky has a PhD in Economics.
From 1999 to 2000 - Deputy Minister for Physical Culture, Sport and Tourism of the Russian Federation.
From 2000 to 2004 - Deputy Minister of Economic Development and Trade of the Russian Federation.
From 2003 to 2004 - Chairman of the Executive Committee of the World Tourist Organization.
From 2004 to 2008 - Head of Federal Tourism Agency.
Since August 2008 - General Director and Chairman of the Management Board of OJSC MMC Norilsk Nickel.
He is a Full State Councilor 1st Class of the Russian Federation. He was awarded the Order of Honor, the Order of Friendship, a number of medals, and several honorary mentions by the President and the Government of the Russian Federation.
Awarded with the Certificate of Honor of the Government of the Russian Federation for the long-term and effective State civil service (August 4, 2008).
ABOUT MMC NORILSK NICKEL
MMC Norilsk Nickel, a company incorporated under the laws of the Russian Federation, is the largest diversified mining and metals company in Russia, the world's largest producer of nickel and palladium and one of the world's largest producers of platinum, rhodium, copper and cobalt. In addition to this, MMC Norilsk Nickel produces a large number of other by-products, including gold, silver, tellurium, selenium, iridium and ruthenium.
The key production units of the Company’s group in Russia are at the Taymyr and Kola Peninsulas. MMC Norilsk Nickel international assets include operations in Finland, Australia, Botswana and South Africa.
MMC Norilsk Nickel’s shares are traded at MICEX-RTS. ADR’s on the Company’s shares are traded on the other the counter market in the US and at the London and Berlin stock exchanges.