Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky

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Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky (1963- ) is a former Communist Youth Leader leader turned Russian billionaire with ties to the Russian mafia[citation needed]. In August 2001, he hired the Public Affairs Firm, APCO Worldwide, to restore investors' trust in his scandal-plagued company, Yukos Oil Company, where he is Chairman and CEO. APCO advised him to adopt "honesty, openness, responsibility" as his new motto -- quite a turnaround for someone who has reportedly trafficked in women, laundered money and defrauded minority investors.

Khodorkovsky is also a member of the board of trustees of the Open Russia Foundation, which describes him as follows:

"Mikhail Khodorkovsky was named Chairman of the Executive Board and CEO of YUKOS Oil Company in 1996. One of his first strategic decisions, the acquisition of the Eastern Oil Company, immediately made YUKOS Russia's second-largest oil producer. He has been recognised as a leader in the transformation of Russian business practices and is committed to the principles of good corporate governance and full transparency."
"Under Mr Khodorkovsky's leadership, YUKOS has grown into a world-class energy company. His recent initiatives include harnessing the potential of the company's Priobskoye field in Western Siberia, and the signing of an agreement with the State Plan Committee of the People's Republic of China and the Chinese National Petroleum Corporation for the construction of a pipeline from Russia to China. In October 2001, YUKOS also acquired a stake in Kvaerner, ASA."
"In 1999, Mr Khodorkovsky used his vision and management skills to successfully transform YUKOS from a disparate group of Soviet-era enterprises into a viable vertically integrated oil company. YUKOS' alliance with Schlumberger has also enabled the company to fundamentally restructure many of its own service enterprises and to develop Russian domestic manufacture of essential oilfield equipment of the highest standard. As a result, YUKOS can claim the lowest cost per barrel of oil produced by any company in the Russian oil industry."
"Before taking over as Chairman of YUKOS, Mr Khodorkovsky was Chief Executive Officer of Rosprom, an investment company that successfully managed and modernised more than one hundred large companies in a range of industries to adapt to economic conditions in post-Soviet Russia." Rosprom "specialized in streamlining the operations of former Soviet enterprises in such industries as metallurgy, textiles, chemicals, building materials, and food processing."[1]
"Mr. Khodorkovsky's tenure at Rosprom convinced him of the critical importance of the right regulatory environment in promoting economic development. Today, he is an active supporter of reforms aimed at decreasing the burdensome 60 percent tax rate on the energy industry which has hampered its growth and development."
"In 1987, at the age of 24, Mr Khodorkovsky began his career at the Youth Centre for Inter-Sectoral Scientific and Technical Programmes during the early days of Mikhail Gorbachev's policy of perestroika. Established with a few of his entrepreneurial associates, the Centre helped introduce new technologies into industry and performed market research for Russian manufacturers. In 1988, Mr Khodorkovsky launched the Commercial Innovation Bank for Scientific and Technological Progress."[2]

Khodorkosky is described on the YUKOS web site as follows:

"In 1991, the Centre "metamorphosed into Bank MENATEP, the first privately owned Russian bank since 1917."
"A 1986 graduate of Moscow's Mendeleev Institute of Chemical Technologies, Mr Khodorkovsky has also studied at the Plekhanov Institute of National Economy --Russia's top economic management school -- and the Institute of Law."[3][4]

Following Khodorkosky's October 25, 2003 arrest on charges of forgery, fraud and tax evasion, the U.S. ambassador to Russia expressed concern and warned that the arrest could hurt the Russian economy. In the UK, APCO's Simon Whitehead organised a media event for Khodorkosky's defence attorney to plead on behalf of his client. [5]


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