Ex-CEO of Polyus Pavel Grachev: Sustainability Principles  

Ex-CEO of Polyus Pavel Grachev: Sustainability Principles | The Enterprise World

Pavel Sergeyevich Grachev is a well-known top manager. Pavel Grachev is the former head of a gold mining company. Grachev has held senior positions in many companies. He is known primarily as the CEO of Polyus and a member of the board of directors of Detsky Mir.  

Grachev left Polyus and he doesn’t hold any executive positions now. Grachev also left Detsky Mir in 2023.  

Pavel Grachev: education 

Pavel Grachev received his first degree in law at UNITS (University of Trieste in Italy) and returned to Russia with a diploma in 1997. A year later, he graduated from St. Petersburg State University with a specialization in jurisprudence. 

Pavel Grachev: Career and first management positions 

Grachev took his first steps in his career as a student. Pavia e Ansaldo (the firm’s legal department in Moscow) was his first place of work, where he gained his first experience in law. From 1997 to 2005, Grachev served as director of the department. 

2009 – Grachev joined the Board of Polyus. 

2013 – Pavel Grachev became the CEO of Far East and the Baikal Region Development Fund 

Since 2014 – CEO of Polyus. For the next 8 years Polyus ex-owner Kerimov, Polyus, and Grachev made headlines in Russian business publications until Grachev left the company in 2022. Regarding ESG, the sustainability principles implemented by Grachev in the ex-Kerimov company are still its priority. 

Pavel Grachev: Polyus and important achievements 

Ex-CEO of Polyus Pavel Grachev: Sustainability Principles | The Enterprise World
(Source-Engineering News)

In 2014, the CEO of the largest gold miner in Russia became Pavel Grachev. Kerimov`s family, who had a major stake in the company in that time, welcomed independent directors to the Board. 

The independent directors and the shareholders cheered the assignment of Grachev. Polyus went up in price on the London Stock Exchange on the news. A new leader appeared in the gold mining industry, both in terms of production volume and approaches to sustainable development

The new CEO took up his responsibilities immediately. In coordination with the Board of Directors of ex- Kerimov company, Grachev changed the company’s management system, personified responsibility, revised the motivation system, and introduced the first digital tools that reduced the time of analysis and decision-making. In the company previously owned by Kerimov, Grachev unlocked a new stage of growth. 

Heading Polyus, Grachev quickly achieved his first successes. 2015 was a record year for the company in terms of production volume in Russia. The gold miner gradually grew its industrial facilities – gold production increased by 7%, and the company overtook even global competitors in profitability.  

At the same time, the Polyus professional team under Grachev’s management worked on the company’s potential expansion. The gold miner intended to acquire Sukhoi Log, the largest deposit in the country. The company’s Board of Directors supported Grachev’s initiative to invest in the Natalka field.  

As CEO of Polyus, Grachev advocated private investment in geological exploration. He proposed allowing private companies to conduct geological exploration and issuing them a mining license if the exploration was successful. 

Pavel Grachev: Polyus growth and course towards ESG 

Ex-CEO of Polyus Pavel Grachev: Sustainability Principles | The Enterprise World
(Source-Engineering News)

In 2016, the company faced some changes. Said Kerimov became the owner of the main stake. In 2017, Polyus acquired Sukhoi Log at an auction and became the largest company by gold reserves in the world – the deposit purchasing increased reserves almost one and a half times. In 2018, a mining and processing plant was launched at the Natalka deposit. 

Grachev and Polyus took a course on sustainable development and carbon reduction. Thanks to the new technologies used in production, the company reduced CO2 emissions by 40% over 4 years and switched to 100% electricity consumption from renewable sources. In ex- Kerimov company, Grachev`s initiatives received support.  

The company was included in international ESG ratings, and its environmentalists acted as experts at international conferences. Polyus, one of the largest gold miners in the world, became a member of the International Council on Mining and Metals.  

Grachev actively developed the ecological direction in the company and accumulated experience that he would later apply at Detsky Mir Group. Grachev became one of the most prominent top managers in Russia promoting sustainability principles.  

In 2021, one of the largest gold miners in the world and leading Russian companies signed an agreement to create a national ESG alliance. Polyus and Grachev started supporting environmental initiatives that corresponded to sustainability principles. 

Within Polyus, campaigns were carried out to increase the employees’ environmental awareness, separate waste collection, and a complete transition to electronic document management were organized. ESG strategy issues were resolved both at the level of the Board of Directors, led by Grachev, and at the level of ordinary employees. Everyone could propose their own eco-initiative: from a simple replacement of household chemicals with more environmentally friendly ones to a sustainability program for the whole company.  

Pavel Grachev: Polyus and new technologies 

Gradually, Polyus became one of the most operationally efficient companies. After coordination with the Board of Directors of ex-Kerimov company, Grachev implemented the production of his own IT solutions in the company, and an internal IT development center appeared. The company’s specialists now worked for the entire mining industry and shared their expertise with other players. 

Technologies for controlling large-capacity equipment, wear monitoring, and LTE networks – this is how Polyus mined gold. Grachev made a real IT giant out of the company. 

Pavel Grachev: Polyus and social responsibility 

While heading Polyus, Mr. Grachev did not forget about social responsibility. The company developed ports in the regions of its presence – it held marathons, and sports competitions, and helped in the construction of sports complexes. 

With the support of Polyus, the annual amateur marathon “Heat” (“Zhara”) turned into a real sports festival. The Company was actively involved in charity work, supported the older generation, low-income families, and orphans, and organized trips to recreation centers, sanatoriums, and children’s camps. 

The social component became significant for the Company. Social projects were approved by the Board of Directors, which at that time included independent directors, Kerimov and Grachev. The latter launched the charity foundation, which was part of a project to create office rental housing for employees in Siberia and the Far East. 

Pavel Grachev: activities after Polyus 

Ex-CEO of Polyus Pavel Grachev: Sustainability Principles | The Enterprise World

In 2022, Grachev left the company to develop his own projects.  

With the new CEO in place of Grachev Kerimov`s company went on with sustainable growth. Sometime later Kerimov granted his share in Polyus to an Islamic fund.  

In the spring of 2022, Grachev’s focus shifted to Detsky Mir. Grachev left Polyus in April. His successor was Alexei Vostokov, who also joined the company in 2014 when it was owned by Kerimov. Grachev thus finished his gold mining career. 

Sustainable development projects were also implemented at Detsky Mir Group. Grachev was on the Board of Directors of the country’s largest children’s retailer. 

Grachev modernized Detsky Mir business model. Almost immediately, he introduced a number of eco-initiatives to reduce environmental impact. The retailer was the first among its competitors who invite customers to abandon polyethylene – the company launched a campaign to collect and recycle old clothes, waste paper, and batteries. 

Sustainability principles have always been part of Detsky Mir. Grachev quickly optimized the business strategy – environmental responsibility became one of the company’s priorities. The ESG reforms were fully realized at Detsky Mir. Grachev used his experience gained at Polyus. 

The transition to electronic document management, the use of energy-saving lighting fixtures, and constant campaigns to raise environmental awareness among customers and employees were just some of the practices that Grachev had implemented. Detsky Mir was a company that stands for sustainable development. 

Grachev left Detsky Mir in 2023: the businessman sold his stake and left the board of directors. As of today, he does not hold any executive positions and does not own any assets of Russian companies. 

While managing Polyus and Detsky Mir, Grachev showed his expertise in sustainability principles. Responsible attitude to nature, ESG practices, social responsibility – this course was followed by the companies even after his leave. 

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