Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky
Mikhail B. Khodorkovsky (1963- ) is a former Communist Youth Leader leader turned Russian billionaire with ties to the Russian mafia. 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.
- "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."
- "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."
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."
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. 
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Related SourceWatch Resources
- Mikhail Khodorkovsky supporter website Mikhail Khodorkovsky Society
- Mark Ames, "Russia’s Ruling Robbers," Consortium News, March 11, 1999.
- "Foreign Loans Diverted in Monster Money Laundering?," Transition Newsletter, World Bank Group, July-August 1999, pp. 11-13.
- John Thornhill, "Top 'Oligarch' Plays Down Bank Scandal," Financial Times (UK), September 20, 1999.
- "Fortune in Hand, Russian Tries to Polish Image," New York Times, August 18, 2001, p. C3.
- "APCO to Restore Trust in Russian Oil Company," O'Dwyer's PR Daily, August 21, 2001. (Membership needed to access article.)
- David Hoffman, Russia's Billionaire Matchmaker to the West, The Washington Post, September 24, 2002.
- Steven Lee Myers, Criminal Inquiry Into Russian Oil Company Is Renewed, New York Times, October 4, 2003.
- Jim Heintz, "Russian Tycoon Arrest Could Hurt Economy," Guardian (UK), October 26, 2003.
- Richard Balmforth, Khodorkovsky Resigns as YUKOS Chief, Reuters, November 3, 2003.
- Steven Lee Myers and Sabrina Tavernise, In Resigning Oil Post, Jailed Russian Hints at Political Fight, New York Times, November 4, 2003: "...two people in a position to explain Mr. Khodorkovsky's thinking said his resignation cleared the way not only for his legal defense but also for a campaign for political office, possibly even a challenge to Vladimir V. Putin in presidential elections scheduled for next March."
- Simon Whitehead, APCO UK "Khodorkovsky Defence Lawyer Addresses Young Presidents' Organisation in Toronto on the Yukos Case", Media Alert, November 24, 2003.