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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Report Says SibAl Axed GAZ Chief

Alexei Barantsev, a former general director of the Bratsk Aluminum Plant, has been chosen to head No. 2 carmaker GAZ, Vedomosti reported Monday.

Management of Siberian Aluminum, the metals giant that controls GAZ and Bratsk through its Base Element holding, decided last week to relieve current GAZ general director Dmitry Strezhnev of his duties, the newspaper cited sources as saying.

Barantsev was named acting general director at GAZ, or the Gorky Auto Plant, earlier this month when Strezhnev left for vacation. Strezhnev is to remain general director of Ruspromavto, Base Element's auto branch, the report said.

Barantsev's appointment requires approval by a board of directors meeting, slated to take place after Aug. 20.

GAZ representatives declined to confirm or deny the report.

Analysts were taken aback by the report on the appointment of Barantsev, who was said to be leaving Russia to study.

"He was supposed to be sent to a school in England for business training," said Ovanes Oganisian, an analyst at Renaissance Capital.

SibAl may not have been pleased with Strezhnev's performance, Oganisian said. "Leaving him with only Ruspromavto can almost be viewed as a demotion," he said.

The move could be a part of Base Element's management rotation policy, said Yelena Sakhnova, an analyst at United Financial Group.