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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Rashnikov to Resign From Top Post at Magnitogorsk

VedomostiViktor Rashnikov
Viktor Rashnikov, one of the country's most influential industrialists, will resign as head of Magnitogorsk Iron and Steel Works, or MMK, but remain with the company to shape its strategic policy, Rashnikov said Friday.

At the end of last year, the government sold its remaining 17.84 percent stake in MMK for $790 million to entities the company said were linked to MMK's management.

"Ownership questions have now been all settled. That is why there is a chance to let me resign from the post of general director," Rashnikov said in a statement.

"While remaining on the company's board of directors, I would like to lead the strategic development of the company."

Rashnikov has good relations with President Vladimir Putin, according to media reports, and once hosted the Kremlin leader at a skiing retreat near a steel plant in the Urals. Rashnikov's resignation will be considered at an annual shareholder meeting on April 22.

A source at the company on Friday confirmed Rashnikov's team had now secured control over more than 99 percent of MMK, which has a 20 percent share of the domestic steel market.

MMK said Rashnikov had suggested Gennady Senichev, currently deputy general director for finance, as his successor.

"This decision [Senichev's nomination] has been taken at the highest level, so it's certain to gain shareholders' approval," the source said.

The source added that Rashnikov would now focus on strengthening MMK's raw materials base through organizing acquisitions of iron ore and coking coal assets. MMK is Russia's only big steel producer which has no upstream base of its own.