VK announced new appointments in top management

VK (formerly Mail.ru Group) announced the appointment of three new vice presidents. The changes affected the areas of artificial intelligence technologies, cybersecurity and communications, the company’s press service reports.

“The VK team has been joined by Vice President, Information Security Director Alexei Volkov and Vice President for Communications Alexei Merkutov,” the company said in a statement. In addition, Andrei Kalinin, former Deputy Vice President, Director of Artificial Intelligence Technologies at VK, will take the position of VK Vice President in the same direction.

In turn, Alexey Volkov, who previously oversaw the cybersecurity issues of the Sber ecosystem, will be responsible for information security at VK. Under his leadership, the team will create conditions to increase user confidence in VK digital services and ensure the sustainable operation of the company, the press service emphasized.

The new Vice President for Communications Alexey Merkutov will promote VK technologies and products as a single ecosystem, corporate communications and public relations. Previously, he was an employee of the MTS Group, where he oversaw corporate communications and promotion of digital products. The changes, as VK noted, are being carried out as part of the formation of a new organizational structure and company strategy, which is aimed at developing the VK ecosystem.

On November 24, Sberbank completed the sale to Gazprombank of a 36% stake in MF Technologies, which is the main shareholder of VK (owns 57.3% of the voting shares of Mail.Ru Group Limited). After that, on December 2, Alisher Usmanov’s USM Holdings, which owns 45% of VK through MF Technology, sold its entire stake to the Sogaz insurance company.

Its largest shareholders are the co-owner of Rossiya Bank Yuri Kovalchuk and his family (32.3%) and Gazprom (21.2%). The amount of the deal was not disclosed. The next day, another shareholder of MF Technologies, Gazprombank, announced the transfer of 45% of the company to the media holding Gazprom-Media. On the same day, December 3, Boris Dobrodeev, who had headed VK since 2016, announced his resignation from the company, and on December 13, Vladimir Kiriyenko, who had worked at Rostelecom since 2016 as First Vice President, was appointed CEO of VK .

On February 8, VK announced the first changes in the company’s management: former vice president of Rostelecom Alexander Aivazov became senior vice president for investment and business development, Irina Sirenko, who had previously worked at VK, was appointed vice president for government relations at VK. Rostelecom” in a similar position. In turn, Stepan Kovalchuk, who previously held the position of Vice President for Business Development at VK, became Senior Vice President for Media Strategy and Business Development. At the same time, several VK top managers announced their resignation, including Vice President for Communications Ochir Mandzhikov and Vice President for Ecosystem Projects Anna Artamonova.

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