According to Moscow sources, Irishwoman Avril Conroy has resigned from her senior position at Kremlin-controlled energy giant Rosneft.
s Conroy was one of the most senior Irish executives in Russia and a rare woman at the helm of the oil industry. Before the Russian invasion of Ukraine, she managed more than 3,000 service stations in 66 regions and was responsible for more than 50,000 employees. She, along with other Irish leaders in Russia, had come under pressure from social media activists to quit shortly after the war began.
Ms. Conroy, who runs the Irish Business Club in Moscow, was a pioneer in the expat community and has been involved in every St. Patrick’s Day parade in the city, helping to raise millions of rubles for charity.
A former Dunnes store manager from Coosan in Athlone, she moved to Moscow in 1994 to work for Irlasto, a Limerick-based company which opened supermarkets, pubs and beauty salons in the capital as the economy opened up to western trade.
In conversation with the Irish Independent In 2017 she recalled: “I was running a supermarket, we were playing Irish music in the store and I was out on the floor stacking the shelves and meeting the customers. I had to learn Russian quickly because I had no choice, nobody spoke English.”
The retail talent was hired by BP in 1998 and helped build BP’s service station network across Russia. This was followed by a move to the Russian oil company TNK-BP, where she worked in downstream and later as head of the performance unit of the Central Europe division.
She later worked in senior positions at US retailer Walmart and auto importer Inchcape, where she marketed BMWs, Rolls-Royces, Jaguars and Land Rovers before being lured back to TNK-BP, which was sold by Rosneft for $55 billion ($52 billion). euros) was adopted in 2013.
The businesswoman was considered Ireland’s most high-profile and best-connected executive in Russia. She was a key adviser to Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, one of the most powerful men in Russia and in turn one of President Vladimir Putin’s closest confidants.
Mr. Sechin was a former official under Mr. Putin in St. Petersburg and through a series of aggressive and often hostile takeovers has transformed Rosneft into the second largest oil company after Saudi Aramco.
A growing list of top executives and officials in Russia’s state-controlled entities have left their jobs since the invasion, including Sberbank first deputy chief executive Lev Khasis, Aeroflot deputy CEO Andrei Panov, Gazprombank vice president Igor Volobuev and the Vice President Envoy Anatoly Chubais.
Senior Irish executives working in Russia have also resigned, including Barry Sheridan, who ran American Express in Moscow. BP CEO Bernard Looney resigned as director of Rosneft at the end of February and announced that BP was selling its 20 percent stake in the Russian company.
That Irish Independent reported on February 28 that James Corrigan, a managing director of Sberbank’s Merchant Banking and Advisory department, had left the state lender after 11 years in various senior positions but remains in Russia.
In conversation with Forbes Russia Magazine in 2015, Ms Conroy said she was proud to work for Rosneft and that “the negative pressure towards Russia has always been felt in the West. It is all the more important for everyone who works here to maintain a positive attitude.”
https://www.independent.ie/business/world/avril-conroy-has-left-russian-energy-giant-rosneft-sources-say-41612194.html Avril Conroy has left Russian energy giant Rosneft, sources say