Monday, February 11, 2013 3:16 pm
Ex-chief of Russia's Gazprom Vyakhirev dies at 78
The Associated Press
Gazprom said Vyakhirev died Monday at his home outside Moscow. The cause of death wasn't given.
Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev praised Vyakhirev as a man who helped make Gazprom a "key player on the global energy market and the backbone of Russia's economy."
Vyakhirev began his career as an oil engineer 1957 and rose through the ranks of the Soviet Union's oil and gas industries to become the first deputy gas minister in 1986. He became Gazprom chief in 1992 and oversaw its steady growth.
Vyakhirev served as Gazprom's CEO until 2001, when President Vladimir Putin replaced him with his loyalist, Alexei Miller.