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Alexei Miller – the head of Gazprom and Putin’s loyal companion. He earns tens of millions of dollars a year

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Michał Kasjanowicz
Michał Kasjanowicz
News about Politics & Tech
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Alexei Miller is considered one of the most influential and best-paid Russian managers. Since 2001 he has been the head of Gazprom. Privately, he is a soccer and horse-riding fan, and a faithful companion of Putin.

Alexei Miller He was born in 1962 in Leningrad, in a family with German roots. His parents worked in the private military enterprise “Leninets”. Alexei Miller is said to have been a diligent and talented student. He first studied at Gymnasium No. 330 in Leningrad, and then chose to study economics at the Leningrad Economic and Financial Institute. He started his career right after receiving his diploma.

Business contacts

He took up a job as an engineer-economist at the general planning studio of the Leningrad Scientific and Research and Design Institute for Housing “LenNIIprojekt” at the Executive Committee of the Leningrad City Council. Later, in 1991, he found employment in the Leningrad City Hall, specifically in the Committee for Foreign Contacts. Alexei’s direct superior at the time was Vladimir Putin. This was the key meeting that set the course of Miller’s career.

During his 5 years at City Hall, Miller built economic zones in the city: Pulkovo and Parnas, to which he attracted Coca-Cola, Gilette, Bartika brewery and the first foreign banks, among others: Lyonnais and Dresden Bank. This allowed him to make a lot of business contacts.

In 1996, the change of power in St. Petersburg forced Alexei Miller to resign from his post. Putin left city hall, and with him his people. Miller, thanks to his contacts, did not have to worry about a new job. He hooked up with the company managing the St. Petersburg seaport, where he served as director of development and investment, and then as general director. He spent three years at the port. In 1999, he took over as director of OJSC Baltic Pipeline System.

From the portfolio of deputy minister to the head of Gazprom

His career gained momentum in 2000 after Vladimir Putin’s victory in the presidential election. Putin, allocating positions in the government and state companies, remembered his colleagues from St. Petersburg city hall. He entrusted Miller with the post of deputy minister of energy. However, he did not have a place in the government. Putin had a different opinion of him. In 2001, Miller became chairman of the board of Gazprom, Russia’s largest corporation and the world’s leading gas producer.

Miller was to begin a new era – the return of the company to state control. He was given the task of recovering the assets lost during the reign of the previous chairman – Rem Viachirev. He began his rule at Gazprom with a purge, bringing trusted people into the company. He successfully fulfilled the task and by taking over subsidiaries and buying shares on the market, he managed to restore state control over the company. To this day he is the head of the gas giant.

27 million dollars in a year

Miller was repeatedly awarded with prestigious state prizes. He received, among others, the medal “For services to the Fatherland”. In January 2022, he was honored by Russian President Vladimir Putin with the title of Hero of Labor of Russia, one of the highest honors in Russia.

According to Forbes rankings, he is one of the highest paid managers in the world and the highest paid manager in Russia. In 2014, he was said to earn $27 million, and nearly $18 million a year later. He draws his salary not only from Gazprom, but from many other companies on whose boards he sits.

It is not known exactly what assets the head of Gazprom has at his disposal. According to media reports, he owns apartments in St. Petersburg with a total area of about 2 thousand square meters. This may be just a drop in the ocean of what he actually owns. Miller is reluctant to talk about his private life, and his wife Irina and son Mikhail have receded into the shadows and do not participate in public life. Miller himself is reportedly an avid soccer and equestrian fan.

First sanctions

On the head of Gazprom already in 2018. The US imposed sanctions. “The Russian government engages in a variety of harmful activities around the world, including continuing the occupation of Crimea, initiating violence in eastern Ukraine, materially and militarily supporting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s regime that bombs its own citizens, attempting to undermine Western democracies, and conducting harmful cyber activities,” US Finance Minister Steve Mnuchin said after the sanctions were announced.

As a sanctioned person, Miller cannot do business with U.S. citizens and his assets in the United States have been frozen. Further sanctions targeted Miller earlier this year in the wake of Russia’s armed invasion of Ukraine.

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