After Ukraine, Russian boardrooms are hit by a moral wave of resignations

RASHMEE ROSHAN LALL February 27, 2022

I recently wrote a piece on ethics and business. Are they incompatible? Is moral business an oxymoron?

After Russia’s February 24 invasion of Ukraine, there is some evidence that morality is not an incongruity in business.

There have been resignations from Russian boardrooms, not least:

** Matteo Renzi, former prime minister of Italy. He resigned from Delimobil, Russia’s largest car-sharing service, founded by Italian businessman Vincenzo Trani.

** Esko Aho, the former prime minister of Finland. He quit the board of Russia’s largest bank, Sberbank.

** Christian Kern, former Austrian chancellor, resigned from the board of Russian Railways.

But Europe’s political elite is still well represented on Russian boards, not least:

** Gerhard Schroder, former chancellor of Germany. He is on the board of Russian state-owned oil company Rosneft and has been nominated to join the board of Gazprom, the Russian gas supplier.

** François Fillon, former prime minister of France. He is on the board of petrochemicals group Sibur and state oil group Zarubezhneft.

** Karin Kneissl, former foreign minister of Austria. She sits on the board of Rosneft.

** Greg Barker, Lord Barker of Battle, formerly a climate minister under former UK prime minister David Cameron. He runs En+, the parent company of Rusal, one of the world’s largest manufacturers of low-carbon aluminium.