State-controlled telecom operator Rostelecom named former cable TV boss Sergei Kalugin as its new chief executive in a government-forced leadership change.
The ex-head of National Cable Networks, which was owned at different times by various businessmen with connections to the Kremlin, has replaced out-of-favour Rostelecom CEO Alexander Provotorov, who has been under fire for months.
Provotorov came under pressure after a cabinet reshuffle last May. The new government, formed after Vladimir Putin was elected for a third Kremlin term, criticized Rostelecom's weak share price and plans to expand in Russia's cutthroat mobile sector.
Putin's spokesman, Dmitry Peskov, said Wednesday that Kalugin's candidacy had been approved with the Kremlin.
Speculation that Provotorov might be on his way out emerged in November when his home and the house of his former partner and Rostelecom investor Konstantin Malofeyev were searched by police in a fraud probe unrelated to Rostelecom.