Mega-polluter’s ex-boss gets $100mn parachute

Vladimir Strzhalkovsky leaves the post as CEO of Norilsk-Nickel with $100mn in his pockets.

He did nothing to reduce the worst cross-border pollution in the Barents Region, but Vladimir Strzhalkovsky gets a record high pay-off when walking out the door from Norilsk-Nickel today.


The compensation pay-off Strzhalkovsky receives when he on Monday leaves the post as CEO in Norilsk-Nickel is the largest ever in Russian corporate history, reports Vedomosti.

Only a very few other ex-leaders around the globe have ever seen such parachute money.  

The $100 million (€76 million) bye-bye cash Strzhalkovsky can fill his pockets with is in comprising twice as much as Norway once offered in an ecological clean-up support package for the smelter in Nikel on the Kola Peninsula. 

Norway offered Norilsk-Nickel the NOK 300 million ($53 million) in aid to clean the emissions of sulphur dioxide (SO2) and heavy metals that for decades have caused serious environmental damage on both the Norwegian and Russian side of the border.   

Vladimir Strzhalkovsky didn’t want to invest in cleaner technology for the plant in Nikel and the ecological support package from Norway was never used. The emission from smelter in Nikel is still some 90,000 tons of SO2 annually. Norwegian scientists are also worried about increased levels of heavy metals measured in the border area, as reported by BarentsObserver earlier this autumn.

Vladimir Strzhalkovsky leaves the position as CEO following an agreement between the two super-rich oligarchs Vladimir Potanin and Oleg Deripaska that together owns the majority of the shares in Norilsk-Nickel. Potanin and Deripaska have been fighting over the management of Norilsk-Nickel for years. A third oligarch, Roman Abramovich, has recently bought some seven percent of the shares in the company helping to balance the influence of Potanin and Deripaska. 

Vladimir Potanin takes over the chair as CEO in Norilsk-Nickel from Monday.

Norilsk-Nickel operates mines and pellets factory in Zapolyarny, a smelter in Nikel and additional smelters in Monchegorsk on the Kola Peninsula. The largest factories and mines are in Norilsk on the Taimyr Peninsula.

Nothing is said about Vladimir Strzhalkovsky’s future plans. Before Norilsk-Nickel, he worked in the KGB. 

During his years in Norilsk-Nickel, Strzhalkovsky made very good money, with a $25mn pay-check in 2009 as previously reported by BarentsObserver.