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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Board Picks Bendukidze As Director at Uralmash

The Uralmash board of directors has appointed Kakha Bendukidze as its general director.

Bendukidze, general director and joint owner of the Unified Machine-Tool Factories holding to which Yekaterinburg's Uralmash belongs, was appointed general director of the major machine tools manufacturer in place of Oleg Belonenko, who was shot dead July 10.

The crime, which bore the signs of a contract killing, remains unsolved.

Bendukidze is an extremely well-known Russian businessman. His companies have shares in a multitude of industrial enterprises, though Bendukidze has never actually headed one of them, preferring instead to delegate authority to his managers.

In 1998 Bendukidze invited Belonenko to Uralmash. Belonenko had held a series of posts at the Kamaz truck works, where he worked his way up to vice president.

First deputy general director Mikhail Matviyenko had been thought to be Belonenko's most likely successor, however on Wednesday the board of directors decided otherwise.

"No one from Uralmash wanted to take responsibility for running the company," said Andrei Onufriyev, advertising and information director at Unified Machine-Tool Factories.

The group did not seek a suitable head elsewhere, and would scarcely have found a manager of such quality as Belonenko, he said.

Onufriyev rejected a suggestion other Uralmash managers had been afraid of taking the top job after what happened to Belonenko.

"The post is not in itself dangerous, it's just that it is a big responsibility to head such a major enterprise," he said.

Bendukidze will act as general director for a minimum of one year. He will continue to head the holding, though he will be required to spend more time in Yekaterinburg in connection with his new appointment.

Eduard Rossel, governor of the Sverdlovsk region in which Uralmash is located, said he is in favor of the new appointment. He discussed Belonenko's replacement with Bendukidze on Tuesday and was of the opinion the factory needed a charismatic leader.

Matviyenko, who was appointed Wednesday as Uralmash's executive director, will be responsible for the day-to-day running of the factory in Bendukidze's absence.