Petropavlovsk names first female director in boardroom shake-up

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The Independent Online

The Russian gold miner Petropavlovsk will announce a management shake-up this week, inducting three new executive directors – including its first female board member – and a new senior independent non-executive director, after a review of its business.

The FTSE 250-listed group, formerly known as Peter Hambro Mining, will name Dr Alya Samokhvalova, its head of external communications, as its new strategic director with a berth on the board. Dr Samohkvalova's promotion will be accompanied by a board seat for group financial controller Andrey Maruta, who will be named as the finance director for Russia, and Martin Smith, who will become technical director.

Dr Samokhvalova will also chair a newly created strategic committee which will monitor the miner's performance by putting together annual and long -term budgets, and compiling forecasts.

Her ascent in the male-dominated mining industry comes ahead of a government-commissioned study aimed at increasing the number of women directors at UK boards.

Lord Davies of Abersoch, the former chief executive of Standard Chartered, was appointed in August by Vince Cable, the Business Secretary, to develop a strategy to get more women into boardrooms at UK-listed companies. His report is expected in February.

Petropavlovsk will also name Dr Graham Birch, the former head of the natural resources team at the fund manager BlackRock, as its new senior independent non-executive director, replacing Peter Hill-Wood, the chairman of Arsenal Football Club, who is stepping down.

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