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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Lebedev: Put My Baby on Aeroflot Board

Tycoon Alexander Lebedev has proposed that his newborn son replace him on the board at Aeroflot in a tongue-in-cheek attempt to highlight what he says is continued weak corporate governance at state-run corporations.

Lebedev, who made his fortune in banking, said he believed that corrupt officials and state executives have pocketed $500 billion in bribes over the last few years. The situation is not improving, he said, as the state has failed to implement a mechanism to control its bureaucrats and executives.

“Can I put my 3-month-old son, Nikita, on Aeroflot’s board in place of myself?” said Lebedev, who owns 30 percent of state-run Aeroflot.

“Guys, you don’t need me. Let my son work there. It wouldn’t be a problem — he’s a clever guy,” Lebedev said, quoting from a letter he sent to Aeroflot’s new president, Vitaly Savelyev.

Lebedev said he was angered by Aeroflot’s decision to shun dividend payments while splashing millions of dollars on noncore projects.

The airline has rented an expensive new office in central Moscow and sponsored the football team CSKA Moscow and the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi.

Savelyev said he viewed cost-cutting and improving efficiency as the main tasks of his new job.

“It’s a great idea,” Savelyev said, referring to Lebedev’s proposal. “I think his son will be less capricious than his father.”