RusAl Appoints New Chairman in Place of Vekselberg

Russia’s RusAl, the world’s largest aluminum company, has appointed independent director Barry Cheung as board chairman, replacing billionaire Viktor Vekselberg, the firm said on Friday.

“I especially look forward to working with both the management and the board to help RusAl build on its current strong business base to reach the next stage of growth,” Cheung, who is also the chairman of the Hong Kong Mercantile Exchange, was quoted in a company statement as saying.

“As an immediate priority, a comprehensive review of the company’s corporate governance practices will be undertaken and additional independent directors will be appointed in order to raise the number of such members to one third of Board membership,” he added.

Former board chairman Vekselberg resigned from the post this week saying his move was caused by disagreements with a number of recent decisions made by the company’s management, particularly over its debts and its handling of its stake in Norilsk Nickel.

RusAl claimed this week that the changes “were deemed necessary by the fact that Mr. Vekselberg had failed to perform his functions as a public company board chairman over the past 12 months. In his role as an acting chairman of the board, Mr. Vekselberg has not attended any of the live board meetings dating back to February 2011.”


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