Rem Vyakhirev, the Former Chief of Russia's Gazprom, Dies, Aged 78

February 13, 2013

The former head of Russia's Gazprom gas monopoly, Rem Vyakhirev, died February 11. He was 78. The Russian Energy Ministry has expressed it condolences to Vyakhirev's family and loved ones. The "gas king" retired from his business affairs over 10 years ago and has rarely commented to the press about his memories of the 1990s when he was at the helm of Russia's energy sector. Vyakhirev was born in 1948 in Kyubyshev region. He graduated from the Kyubyshev Institute of Industry in 1956 with a degree as a specialist in "developing oil and gas fields".

From 1983-1985, Kyubyshev  was deputy minister of industry in the USSR. In 1985 he was appointed first deputy minister of the Soviet gas industry under then-minister Viktor Chernomyrdin. Together, the two created the sate gas concern Gazprom, in which Vyakhirev became first deputy chair of the management board.

In 1992, when Chernomyrdin left to work in the Russian government, Vyakhirev became chair of the concern, which later was reorganized as the joint-stock company Gazprom. He served a chair of the board of directors at Gazprom until June 1996.

While he left his position as chair of the Gazprom board in 2001, he remained a member. From 2001-2002 Vyakhirev chaired the Russian gas society.

Moscow is paying its last respects to Rem Vyakhirev today. Many legends have surrounded his figure, notably his stake in Russia's richest company.

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