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Orion Express names new CEO, takes on additional subscribers

Kirill Makhnovskiy

Kirill Makhnovskiy

Russian pay TV operator Orion Express has named Kirill Makhnovskiy as its new CEO, succeeding Aleksander Kaplinsky, who will continue to oversee the activities of the operator on behalf of its shareholders. 

Makhnovskiy was previously head of telecom services for Orion Express, which has experienced solid growth with its DTH offering over the last year.

Kaplinsky had replaced Alina Kurakina as acting CEO at the start of this year, when the latter took maternity leave. Orion Express has told Russian press that it has no information on whether Kurakina plans to return to work.

Separately, Orion Express is reportedly to acquire the 40,000 subscribers of pay TV service Ricord TV after the latter failed to secure a broadcasting licence from the country’s regulator, the Roskomnadzor.

Ricord TV subscribers will be given access to Orion Express’s Unlimited package during the transition, with the integration of Ricord TV subscribers expected to be completed by the beginning of November.

Ricord TV deputy CEO Sergey Stavropoltsy told Russian press that the operator had held talks with all the major pay TV players after it failed to win a licence, but that it had managed to strike an agreement with Orion Express quickly to secure a seamless transition for its customers. Stavropoltsy said that Ricord TV would continue to operate as an OTT player targeting the Russian smart TV user base.