Billionaire Yuri Milner steps down as chairman of Group, replaced by CEO Dmitry Grishin

Billionaire Yuri Milner steps down as chairman of Group, replaced by CEO Dmitry Grishin

Yuri Milner, the Russian entrepreneur and venture capitalist mostly known for being the founder of international investment firm DST Global, has stepped down from the board of directors of Group, the largest Internet company in Russia.

In a press release issued this morning, has announced that current CEO Dmitry Grishin was elected to the board and promptly appointed as its new chairman. The move does not come unexpected, and the company made it clear that no other changes to its management or board were made.

Grishin has been working for since 2000.

In a statement, Milner said:

“It has been a great pleasure and privilege to be involved with Group and to take the business from its foundation to its successful IPO in November 2010. Serving as non-executive Chairman since the IPO has allowed me to watch the management team, led by Dmitry Grishin, whom I brought in as a co-founder and worked with for more than 10 years, deliver consistently strong results.

I believe that is well placed for taking advantage of its leadership position. I look forward to watching its continued success as Dmitry, and the team, continue to drive the business and execute on the strategy.”

Milner has been involved with for over a decade. One of his previous companies, netBridge, merged with the then-owner of the business,, back in February 2001. Milner became CEO of the new company, which was henceforth known as, simply,

In 2003, Milner resigned as CEO of but remained a shareholder, and was appointed non-executive chairman of the board when the company went public in November 2010 at a roughly $5 billion valuation.

In 2005, Milner founded investment firm Digital Sky Technologies, which was – confusingly – renamed Group in September 2010. Shareholders include MIH/Naspers and China’s Tencent.

Aside from the email service, Group owns two leading Russian social networks, My [email protected] and, as well as a significant share of social network VKontakte, and operates instant messaging network ICQ and multiple online gaming units.

Mail.Ru Group also owned minority interests in non-Russian companies like Facebook, Zynga, Groupon, but these have since been transferred to a new vehicle called DST Global (which also boasts investments in other Web giants like Twitter, ZocDoc, Spotify, Airbnb and

Related The Next Web posts:

Russia’s Mail.Ru booked $208m in profits – on $515m in revenues – last year (February 2012)

Stakes in Facebook, Groupon and other Web giants help Usmanov become Russia’s richest man (March 2012)

Read next: Smackdown: UFC plans to drag individual 'streaming pirates' to court for copyright violation

Pssst, hey you!

Do you want to get the sassiest daily tech newsletter every day, in your inbox, for FREE? Of course you do: sign up for Big Spam here.