Yukos and Mikhail Khodorkovsky: An Unfolding Drama
CORPORATE GOVERNANCE IN RUSSIA, Chapter 17, Daniel J. McCarthy, Sheila M. Puffer. and Stanislav V. Shekshnia, eds., Edward Elgar Publishing, 2004
31 Pages Posted: 22 Feb 2010 Last revised: 14 May 2010
Date Written: February 18, 2010
This chapter details the early career of Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Graduating from his university just as Gorbachev’s perestroika and glasnost were implemented, the bright, ambitious Khodorkovsky blazed a new career path in the last years of the Soviet Union. As Gorbachev’s attempted reforms destroyed the moribund command economy of the USSR, Khodorkovsky and his associates created a secret, hugely successful business empire. With the dissolution of the USSR and the establishment of the New Russia, Khodorkovsky was one of very small number of extremely wealthy “oligarchs” who used their business savvy to build fortunes incredibly quickly. During Boris Yeltsin’s presidency, Khodorkovsky came to control Yukos Oil, Russia’s largest, most profitable oil company, and wield enormous political power and influence in Russian affairs. This chapter concludes the arrest of Khodorkovsky, prior to the dismantling of Yukos during Vladimir Putin’s first term as Russia’s president.
Keywords: Russia, corporate governance, Khodorkovsky, Putin, Yukos, oil, political influence, USSR, Gorbachov, Gorbachev, Command economy, transitional economics, oligarch, Russian bankers
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