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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Auto Industry Standard-Bearer Resigns From AvtoVAZ Board

MTVladimir Kadannikov
Vladimir Kadannikov, a longtime standard-bearer of the domestic auto industry, has resigned as board chairman of Lada-maker AvtoVAZ, the company said Thursday.

Kadannikov, 64, has submitted his resignation and will retire from business, AvtoVAZ said in a tersely-worded statement. The company will hold an extraordinary shareholders' meeting on Dec. 22 to select a new board of directors, it said. AvtoVAZ spokespeople declined to elaborate.

The news came as a surprise to market watchers, and AvtoVAZ shares jumped more than 9 percent.

"I am surprised," said one automotive analyst, who spoke on the condition that he not be named. He added that Kadannikov's resignation was likely to trigger a series of changes to the automaker, which has been struggling against increased foreign competition.

One consequence may be the sell-off of the carmaker's noncore assets, the analyst said, a move that had not been on Kadannikov's agenda.

AvtoVAZ shares closed 9.5 percent up on the MICEX exchange.

"The market positively received Kadannikov's resignation," said Alexei Yazykov, automotive analyst at Aton brokerage.

The market was looking forward to positive developments within the company, he said.

Kadannikov started working at AvtoVAZ in 1967, working his way up to the position of general director, Interfax reported. In 1996 he briefly served as a deputy prime minister before moving on to become board chairman of AvtoVAZ.