Support The Moscow Times!

Son of State Media Chief Appointed CEO of Russia's Vkontakte

Russia's social network Vkontakte has appointed the son of a pro-Kremlin media executive as its new CEO.

Russia's largest social network, Vkontakte, has appointed the son of a pro-Kremlin media executive as its new CEO, in the latest sign of increased government control over the Internet.

Boris Dobrodeyev, whose father Oleg Dobrodeyev heads the state-owned media holding VGTRK, has been named the new chief of Vkontakte having "de facto executed the powers of general director since April," the company said Thursday in a statement carried by Russian news agencies.

The appointment comes two days after Russia's leading Internet company Group, which is majority-owned by the country's richest man Alisher Usmanov, bought out a rival Vkontakte shareholder and assumed 100 percent ownership of the social network.

The rival shareholder, Moscow-based investment fund United Capital Partners, or UCP, had voted down Dobrodeyev's appointment this summer, but said it would reconsider its stance if dropped a lawsuit contesting its ownership of Vkontakte stock.

The shareholders' dispute ended earlier this week, when announced Tuesday that it had bought out UCP's 48 percent stake in Vkontakte for $1.47 billion and now was a sole owner of the social network.

The buy-out opened the way for Dobrodeyev's appointment as Vkontakte's new director, a spokesperson was quoted as saying by news website

Dobrodeyev replaces Vkontakte whizz-kid founder Pavel Durov, who sold his stake in the company and fled the country earlier this year after a bitter shareholder dispute and what he said was pressure from Russia's security services to share confidential information about his network's users.

… we have a small favor to ask.

As you may have heard, The Moscow Times, an independent news source for over 30 years, has been unjustly branded as a "foreign agent" by the Russian government. This blatant attempt to silence our voice is a direct assault on the integrity of journalism and the values we hold dear.

We, the journalists of The Moscow Times, refuse to be silenced. Our commitment to providing accurate and unbiased reporting on Russia remains unshaken. But we need your help to continue our critical mission.

Your support, no matter how small, makes a world of difference. If you can, please support us monthly starting from just 2. It's quick to set up, and you can be confident that you're making a significant impact every month by supporting open, independent journalism. Thank you.


Read more