Vimpelcom Russia CEO steps down amid corruption probe

Multinational operator group Vimpelcom has announced the resignation of the CEO of its Russian operations Mikhail Slobodin in the light of a corruption probe at his previous employer.

Slobodin’s last gig had been at electricity company T Plus and it emerged yesterday that Russia’s Investigative Committee had opened a criminal investigation against former and current senior officials of T Plus. The allegations concern bribery to the tune of 800 million rubles ($12 million). Slobodin was subsequently named as one of the people they wanted to speak to.

Vimpelcom has had a tricky time of it with the authorities over the past few years, having been under investigation over its Uzbekistan operations since 2014. On the positive side its proposed merger with Hutchison in Italy has just been approved by the European Commission, so it will presumably be extra keen to sort out the Russian side of things.

As reported by Light Reading in its analysis, Vimpelcom has made Russia (otherwise known as Beeline) the problem of Kjell Johnsen, who only moved over from Telenor last month as Head of Major Markets. Looks like the honeymoon period is well and truly over for him.

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