Monday 30 November 2020 10:39 am

Gold miner Petropavlovsk appoints new chief exec

Russian gold miner Petropavlovsk has today appointed Denis Alexandrov as its new chief executive, months after clearing out its former top team.

Alexandrov, who will join the firm on 1 December, will take over from Maxim Meshcheryakov, who has been the FTSE 250 firm’s acting chief exec since August.

Read more: Petropavlovsk appoints KPMG as independent forensic investigator

From January 2016 to this year, Alexandrov was the chief exec of fellow Russian mining firm Highland Gold.

His appointment marks a new chapter in the firm’s history, after a bloody boardroom battle over the summer saw co-founders Peter Hambro and Pavel Mavlovskiy kicked out.

Deputy chief exec Alya Samokhvalova also subsequently left the firm, but is now suing for unfair dismissal.

The summer’s battle saw rival investor groups  Prosperity accused fellow shareholders UGC and Everest Alliance of conspiring to take over the business.

But August’s meeting saw the latter two, who between them control over 30 per cent of voting rights, victorious.

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However, despite the changing of the guard, evidence suggests that loyalty to the old regime remains strong in some quarters.

In August Meshcheryakov was filmed forcing his way into Petropavlovsk’s offices in Moscow after staff denied him entry.

Russian authorities have subsequently announced an investigation into the incident, which was widely circulated on social media.

Having traded at record highs earlier this year, Petropavlovsk’s share price has subsequently slipped back, but remains far ahead of pre-2020 levels.

Read more: Russian authorities launch investigation into new Petropavlovsk boss

Alexandrov said: “I am excited to be joining Petropavlovsk. My first priorities as chief executive will be to ensure a smooth transition to the new leadership team and to formulate a clear operating strategy that delivers growth and improved returns. 

“In the current gold price environment, better management of the Group’s strong asset base should benefit all of our stakeholders.”