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Senior Executives Flee Russian Oil Giant Rosneft

Russian state oil big

Rosneft Oil Co.

ROSN 2.86%

is shedding senior executives, a mind drain that stands to weaken a chief driver of the nation’s financial system whereas Moscow wages struggle on Ukraine.

Chief Government

Igor Sechin’s

two high lieutenants, first vice presidents

Didier Casimiro

and Zeljko Runje, are leaving the corporate, individuals accustomed to the departures stated. Their exit means Mr. Sechin, a longtime affiliate of President

Vladimir Putin,

must navigate a disaster in Russian oil markets with out his most skilled deputies.

Additionally leaving are Otabek Karimov, vp for commerce and logistics, and

Eric Liron,

vp for oil-and-gas providers, a few of the individuals stated. Avril Conroy, who was head of retail operations, has already left the corporate.

All hail from exterior Russia, underscoring how Rosneft relied on abroad experience to develop into one of many world’s largest oil producers—and the way the struggle threatens to reverse that enlargement. Overseas executives introduced know-how about Western manufacturing strategies and enterprise practices. They helped to endear Rosneft to abroad traders, who owned its shares and lent it cash. They usually strengthened hyperlinks with huge U.S. and European vitality corporations that partnered with Rosneft on tasks in Russia and abroad.

The corporate misplaced out when non-public producers carved up Russia’s prime oil belongings within the Nineties however fought again and now performs a pivotal function within the Russian financial system and world vitality market. A government-owned firm holds greater than 40% of shares in Rosneft and the agency describes itself as Russia’s largest taxpayer. It churned out 3.9 million barrels a day of liquid hydrocarbons in 2021, based on its annual report, sufficient to satisfy 4% of world oil demand.

Mr. Casimiro responded to an emailed remark request with an excerpt from the Oscar Wilde poem “The Ballad of Studying Gaol.” The stanza describes two doomed ships passing in a storm and never acknowledging one another, with one line studying, “We had no phrase to say.” 

Mr. Runje, Mr. Liron, Ms. Conroy and Mr. Karimov didn’t reply to requests for remark. A spokesman for Rosneft stated he didn’t know in regards to the departures. The departures had been reported earlier by Reuters.

The timing of the exits could also be associated to European Union sanctions, based on one of many individuals accustomed to the matter. A ban on some contracts with sure state-owned Russian corporations, together with Rosneft, got here into drive on Might 15. Whether or not this additionally applies to employment contracts isn’t clear. Having residents of nations that imposed sanctions towards Russia within the government ranks at state-owned corporations can be now seen as much less acceptable by the Kremlin, the individual stated.

Otabek Karimov, from Uzbekistan, has served as vp for commerce and logistics at Rosneft.


Sorokin Donat/Zuma Press

Rosneft has come beneath stress because the invasion. Shops of oil in Russia are filling up and manufacturing is falling on account of misplaced demand at dwelling and overseas, based on merchants, non-public analysts and the Worldwide Vitality Company. Rosneft and state-owned Gazprom PJSC face a longer-term problem find options to Western applied sciences that governments have stopped corporations exporting to the Russian vitality trade.

An artwork collector in his spare time, Mr. Casimiro was born in 1966 and is from Belgium. He held senior positions at


within the Nineties and 2000s earlier than transferring to TNK-BP, the British firm’s three way partnership with a bunch of Russian businessmen. He joined Rosneft in 2012, based on the agency’s 2020 annual report, earlier than the corporate purchased TNK-BP in 2013.

Since then, Mr. Casimiro has at varied occasions overseen commerce, logistics, refining and petrochemicals. After being made first vp in 2020, Mr. Casimiro acted as a quasi chief monetary officer, one of many individuals stated.

Complicating Mr. Casimiro’s place: He has been topic to U.S. sanctions since 2020, when the Treasury Division focused Rosneft’s buying and selling actions in Venezuela. He was president of Rosneft Buying and selling SA, its Swiss buying and selling subsidiary, on the time, based on the U.S. authorities.

Mr. Casimiro received caught up within the worldwide dragnet once more shortly after Russia invaded Ukraine. In late March, the U.Ok. froze his belongings in a spherical of sanctions focusing on different senior figures within the Russian vitality and monetary industries together with corporations akin to Alfa-Financial institution JSC.

Mr. Runje joined Rosneft in 2012 after a profession at Exxon Mobil Corp. As first vp for oil, fuel and offshore enterprise improvement, he was in command of the corporate’s upstream manufacturing operations. He was additionally sanctioned by the U.Ok. in March.

Mr. Liron is a French nationwide who as soon as labored for U.S.-listed oil-field-services agency

Schlumberger Ltd.

, earlier than becoming a member of Rosneft across the time it took over TNK-BP. Ms. Conroy is Irish and labored for BP and Rosneft in Russia since 1998.

Mr. Karimov hails from Uzbekistan.

Rosneft Chief Government Igor Sechin must navigate a disaster in Russian oil markets with out his most skilled deputies after the executives’ departures.



Write to Anna Hirtenstein at [email protected] and Joe Wallace at [email protected]

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