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4 Feb, 2008 17:05

Gazprom approves candidates for new board

Russia’s Prime Minister Viktor Zubkov will run for the seat on Gazprom’s board of directors. His candidacy was approved by the current board as well as 18 other nominees.

But only 11 of the candidates will sit on Gazprom’s – the world’s largest gas company – new board of directors after the shareholders vote on June 27.

The reshuffle is prompted by the upcoming presidential election, where the current Chairman of the company’s board of directors – First Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev – is regarded as the front runner. If he wins the election, he will no longer be able to work for Gazprom.

Zubkov – proposed by the government – is expected to replace Medvedev as the head of Gazprom’s board.

However, the head of National Energy Security Fund, Konstantin Simonov says Zubkov is not the only candidate to chair Gazprom’s board and it’s still possible that someone else will take the seat.

“I don’t think it’s certain that Zubkov will become Gazprom’s chairman. There are other possibilities – Aleksey Miller, for example. Due to his health, he may prefer to take the position of the chairman and move away from day-to-day management,” he says.

Although the list approved on Monday is regarded as final, experts point out that the government has the right to make amendments with some commentators still looking to see Vladimir Putin in the role.

No matter who gets the position, it’s expected that the gas giant’s current strategy will remain in place. And the new chairman will oversee continued expansion, cementing the position of Gazprom as one of the world’s most pre-eminent energy companies.