Putin's friend vs Forbes rating: oil tsar has the upper hand

Putin's friend vs Forbes rating: oil tsar has the upper hand
Editor-in-chief of Forbes Russia Nikolay Uskov

Instead, they published a new rating of capitalist directors.⁠

The Russian editorial office of Forbes magazine decided against compiling a rating of the richest senior executives. The list was not featured in the December issue of the magazine, the newspaper Vedomosti pens. Instead, the media outlet published a new rating of capitalist directors. In it Forbes Russia assesses not the income of top-level managers, as in the previous five years, but the value of stakes in the companies they helm.

The refusal to compile the rating was confirmed by the editor-in-chief of Forbes Russia, Nikolay Uskov. He says the editorial board is not going to resume work on the previous rating. "We are not going to do the one we used to do, since there is a lot of information we can not be responsible for. We would like to have more accurate data," the Head of the publication stressed.

Similar calculations "have not been made before", he said about the new rating. Forbes joint editorial office editor-in-chief Nikolay Mazurin also said that he does not know if the publication will return to the ranking of the most expensive top-level executives.

"When we announced the rating the first years, everyone was interested in it, it was quoted and referred to a lot, but from year to year everything was approximately the same. The same faces with roughly the same sums. The sums changed, but this cannot be said about the bottom line," he remarked. That said, Mazurin highlighted that the change of the rating is not connected with the change of the publication owner in any way.

Fedotov acquired Axel Springer Russia publishing house, issuing Forbes Russia in particular, in fall 2015. At the same time, he vowed not interfere in the editorial policy, but stated that he would like the magazine to become less politically charged.

Shortly thereafter, the editorial office faced personnel reshuffles: Forbes editor-in-chief Elmar Murtazaev was succeeded by Nikolay Uskov. Moreover, the publishing house parted ways with Regina von Flemming, harboring aspirations to gain control over 20% of the company. Following her departure, the magazines GEO, Gala Biography and GEOlenok were shut down. December 2015 witnessed the editor-in-chief of Forbes Woman and Forbes Lite, Yulia Taratuta, stepping down. Axel Springer Russia was renamed AS Rus Media, remaining a separate venture in ACMG.

In late March Dozhd (Rain) TV channel became cognizant of a loan from the company Artpol Holding, received by the structure G Media, which is part of the holding of Alexander Fedotov ACMG. One of the interlocutors of journalists estimated the loan at the amount ranging from 6 ($100 thousand) to 8 ($133.3 thousand) million rubles.

Artpol Holding belongs to the former Minister of Energy and incumbent special representative of the President of the Russian Federation on international cooperation in the field of electric power, Sergey Shmatko.

In 2013 Igor Sechin filed a lawsuit against Forbes due to the rating of salaries of senior executives. He demanded to refute the information that his income for a year of work in the state-owned company exceeded $50 million. The Head of Rosneft won the trial, and in 2014 Forbes did not publish data on his incomes. In the ensuing years, Sechin was featured in this rating again.

In 2016 the rating of the most expensive top-level managers of Russia was published without specifying the income of the Head of VTB Andrey Kostin, who was mentioned the third. Later the staff of the publication told that the amount of Kostin's income was fixed, but it was removed from the publication on the order of the new owner of Forbes.

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