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The Most Famous


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This page contains a list of the greatest Russian Businesspeople. The pantheon dataset contains 601 Businesspeople, 23 of which were born in Russia. This makes Russia the birth place of the 6th most number of Businesspeople behind France and Italy.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Russian Businesspeople of all time. This list of famous Russian Businesspeople is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Russian Businesspeople.

Photo of Sergei Diaghilev

1. Sergei Diaghilev (1872 - 1929)

With an HPI of 66.34, Sergei Diaghilev is the most famous Russian Businessperson.  His biography has been translated into 44 different languages on wikipedia.

Sergei Pavlovich Diaghilev ( dee-AG-il-ef; Russian: Серге́й Па́влович Дя́гилев, IPA: [sʲɪˈrɡʲej ˈpavləvʲɪdʑ ˈdʲæɡʲɪlʲɪf]; 31 March [O.S. 19 March] 1872 – 19 August 1929), usually referred to outside Russia as Serge Diaghilev, was a Russian art critic, patron, ballet impresario and founder of the Ballets Russes, from which many famous dancers and choreographers would arise. Diaghilev’s career can be divided into two periods: in St Petersburg (1898–1906) and in emigration (1906–1929).

Photo of Roman Abramovich

2. Roman Abramovich (1966 - )

With an HPI of 64.86, Roman Abramovich is the 2nd most famous Russian Businessperson.  His biography has been translated into 55 different languages.

Roman Arkadyevich Abramovich (Russian: Роман Аркадьевич Абрамович, pronounced [rɐˈman ɐrˈkadʲjɪvʲɪtɕ ɐbrɐˈmovʲɪtɕ]; Hebrew: רומן ארקדיביץ' אברמוביץ'; born 24 October 1966) is a Russian-Israeli-Portuguese oligarch and politician. He is the former owner of Chelsea, a Premier League football club in London, England, and is the primary owner of the private investment company Millhouse LLC. He has both Russian and Israeli citizenship.He was formerly Governor of Chukotka Autonomous Okrug from 2000 to 2008. According to Forbes, Abramovich's net worth was US$14.5 billion in 2021, making him the second-richest person in Israel, and since then the wealth decreased to 6.9 billion (in 2022), and recovered up to $9.2 billion in 2023. Abramovich enriched himself in the years following the collapse of the Soviet Union in the 1990s, obtaining Russian state-owned assets at prices far below market value in Russia's controversial loans-for-shares privatisation program. Abramovich is considered to have a good relationship with Russian president Vladimir Putin, an allegation Abramovich denied.

Photo of Boris Berezovsky

3. Boris Berezovsky (1946 - 2013)

With an HPI of 63.93, Boris Berezovsky is the 3rd most famous Russian Businessperson.  His biography has been translated into 43 different languages.

Boris Abramovich Berezovsky (Russian: Борис Абрамович Березовский; 23 January 1946 – 23 March 2013), also known as Platon Elenin, was a Russian business oligarch, government official, engineer and mathematician and a member of the Russian Academy of Sciences. He had the federal state civilian service rank of 1st class Active State Councillor of the Russian Federation.Berezovsky made his fortune in Russia in the 1990s, when the country implemented privatization of state property. He profited from gaining control over assets, including the country's main television channel, Channel One. In 1997, Forbes estimated Berezovsky's wealth at US$3 billion. Berezovsky helped fund Unity, the political party that would form Vladimir Putin's first parliamentary base, and was elected to the Duma on Putin's slate in the 1999 Russian legislative election. However, following the Russian presidential election in March 2000, Berezovsky went into opposition and resigned from the Duma. Berezovsky would remain a vocal critic of Putin for the rest of his life.In late 2000, after the Russian Deputy Prosecutor General demanded that Berezovsky appear for questioning, he did not return from abroad and moved to the UK, which granted him political asylum in 2003. After he moved to Britain, the Russian government took over his television assets, and he divested from other Russian holdings. In Russia, Berezovsky was later convicted in absentia of fraud and embezzlement. The first charges had been brought during Primakov's government in 1999. Despite an Interpol Red Notice for Berezovsky's arrest, Russia repeatedly failed to obtain the extradition of Berezovsky from Britain; the situation became a major point of diplomatic tension between the two countries.In 2012, Berezovsky lost a London High Court case he brought over the ownership of the major oil producer Sibneft, against Roman Abramovich, in which he sought over £3 billion in damages. The court concluded that Berezovsky had never been a co-owner of Sibneft.Berezovsky was found dead in his home, Titness Park, at Sunninghill, near Ascot in Berkshire, on 23 March 2013. A post-mortem examination found that his death was consistent with hanging and that there were no signs of a violent struggle. However, the coroner at the inquest into Berezovsky's death later recorded an open verdict.

Photo of Mikhail Khodorkovsky

4. Mikhail Khodorkovsky (1963 - )

With an HPI of 62.76, Mikhail Khodorkovsky is the 4th most famous Russian Businessperson.  His biography has been translated into 55 different languages.

Mikhail Borisovich Khodorkovsky (Russian: Михаил Борисович Ходорковский, IPA: [mʲɪxɐˈil xədɐrˈkofskʲɪj]; born 26 June 1963), sometimes known by his initials MBK, is an exiled Russian businessman and opposition activist, now residing in London. In 2003, Khodorkovsky was believed to be the wealthiest man in Russia, with a fortune estimated to be worth $15 billion, and was ranked 16th on Forbes list of billionaires. He had worked his way up the Komsomol apparatus, during the Soviet years, and started several businesses during the period of glasnost and perestroika in the late 1980s. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, in the mid-1990s, he accumulated considerable wealth by obtaining control of a number of Siberian oil fields unified under the name Yukos, one of the major companies to emerge from the privatization of state assets during the 1990s (a scheme known as "Loans for Shares"). In 2001, Khodorkovsky founded Open Russia, a reform-minded organization intending to "build and strengthen civil society" in the country. In October 2003, he was arrested by Russian authorities and charged with fraud. The government under Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, then froze shares of Yukos shortly thereafter on tax charges. Putin's government took further actions against Yukos, leading to a collapse of the company's share price and the evaporation of much of Khodorkovsky's wealth. In May 2005, he was found guilty and sentenced to nine years in prison. In December 2010, while he was still serving his sentence, Khodorkovsky and his business partner Platon Lebedev were further charged with and found guilty of embezzlement and money laundering, Khodorkovsky's prison sentence was extended to 2014. After Hans-Dietrich Genscher lobbied for his release, Putin pardoned Khodorkovsky, releasing him from jail on 20 December 2013.There was widespread concern internationally that the trials and sentencing were politically motivated. The trial was criticized abroad for the lack of due process. Khodorkovsky lodged several applications with the European Court of Human Rights, seeking redress for alleged violations by Russia of his human rights. In response to his first application, which concerned events from 2003 to 2005, the court found that several violations were committed by the Russian authorities in their treatment of Khodorkovsky. Despite these findings, the court ultimately ruled that the trial was not politically motivated, but rather "that the charges against him were grounded in 'reasonable suspicion'". He was considered to be a prisoner of conscience by Amnesty International.On being pardoned by Putin and released from prison at the end of 2013, Khodorkovsky immediately left Russia and was granted residency in Switzerland. At the end of 2013, his personal estate was believed to be worth, as a rough estimate, $100–250 million. At the end of 2014, he was said to be worth about $500 million. In 2015, he moved to London. In December 2016, the Dublin District Court unfroze $100m of Khodorkovsky's assets that had been held in the Republic of Ireland.In 2014, Khodorkovsky re-launched Open Russia to promote several reforms to Russian civil society, including free and fair elections, political education, protection of journalists and activists, endorsing the rule of law, and ensuring media independence. He was described by The Economist as "the Kremlin's leading critic-in-exile".

Photo of Pavel Tretyakov

5. Pavel Tretyakov (1832 - 1898)

With an HPI of 55.42, Pavel Tretyakov is the 5th most famous Russian Businessperson.  His biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

Pavel Mikhaylovich Tretyakov (Russian: Па́вел Миха́йлович Третьяко́в; 27 December 1832 – 16 December 1898) was a Russian businessman, patron of art, collector, and philanthropist who gave his name to the Tretyakov Gallery and Tretyakov Drive in Moscow. His brother Sergei Tretyakov was also a famous patron of art and a philanthropist.

Photo of Beate Uhse-Rotermund

6. Beate Uhse-Rotermund (1919 - 2001)

With an HPI of 54.65, Beate Uhse-Rotermund is the 6th most famous Russian Businessperson.  Her biography has been translated into 20 different languages.

Beate Uhse-Rotermund (German pronunciation: [beˈaːtə ˈʔuːzə ˈʁoːtɐmʊnt] (listen); born Beate Köstlin [ˈkœstliːn], 25 October 1919 – 16 July 2001) was a German pilot, entrepreneur and sex pioneer. She was one of the very few female stunt pilots in Germany in the 1930s. During World War II she ferried planes for the German Luftwaffe and after World War II she started a sex shop. The company she started, Beate Uhse AG, is listed on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

Photo of Sergei Shchukin

7. Sergei Shchukin (1854 - 1936)

With an HPI of 54.14, Sergei Shchukin is the 7th most famous Russian Businessperson.  His biography has been translated into 17 different languages.

Sergei Ivanovich Shchukin (Russian: Серге́й Ива́нович Щу́кин; 6 July [O.S. 24 June] 1854 – 10 January 1936) was a Russian businessman who became an art collector, mainly of French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist art.

Photo of Arkady Rotenberg

8. Arkady Rotenberg (1951 - )

With an HPI of 54.03, Arkady Rotenberg is the 8th most famous Russian Businessperson.  His biography has been translated into 18 different languages.

Arkady Romanovich Rotenberg (Russian: Аркадий Романович Ротенберг; born 15 December 1951) is a Russian billionaire businessman and oligarch. With his brother Boris Rotenberg, he was co-owner of the Stroygazmontazh (S.G.M. group), the largest construction company for gas pipelines and electrical power supply lines in Russia. In 2023 Forbes estimated Rotenberg's wealth at $3.5 billion. He is a close confidant, business partner, and childhood friend of president Vladimir Putin. Rotenberg became a billionaire through lucrative state-sponsored construction projects and oil pipelines. The Pandora Papers leak implicated Rotenberg in facilitating and maintaining elaborate networks of offshore wealth for Russian political and economic elites.Since 2014, following the Russian annexation of Crimea, Arkady Rotenberg has been subject to sanctions by the United States government.

Photo of Oleg Deripaska

9. Oleg Deripaska (1968 - )

With an HPI of 53.33, Oleg Deripaska is the 9th most famous Russian Businessperson.  His biography has been translated into 33 different languages.

Oleg Vladimirovich Deripaska (Russian: Олег Владимирович Дерипаска; born 2 January 1968) is a Russian billionaire and an industrialist. Deripaska enriched himself on previously state-owned assets that were privatized in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union. He is the founder of Basic Element, one of Russia's largest industrial groups, and Volnoe Delo, Russia's largest charitable foundation. He was the president of En+ Group, a Russian energy company, and headed United Company Rusal, the second-largest aluminum company in the world, until he quit both roles in 2018.He has been characterized as a victor in the "aluminium wars" in Russia during the 1990s, which were frequently violent conflicts between businesspeople to obtain state-owned assets. In 2000, Deripaska founded Rusal, the result of a partnership between Sibirsky Aluminium and Roman Abramovich's Millhouse Capital. In 2007, Rusal merged with SUAL Group and Glencore International AG to form UC Rusal, with Deripaska as chairman.He was once Russia's richest man, but lost a substantial part of his fortune amid the 2007–08 financial crisis. As of June 2022, his wealth was estimated by Forbes at $3.2 billion, making him the 920th richest person in the world. Deripaska bought himself Cypriot citizenship (and therefore EU citizenship) in 2017.He was placed under U.S. sanctions in 2018 for reasons relating to the 2014 annexation of Crimea by Russia. Deripaska was one of seven oligarchs sanctioned by the British government over the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine, including asset freezes and travel bans. In March 2022, he called for peace in Ukraine, and said that destroying Ukraine would be a "colossal mistake". Several months later, his hotel complex in Sochi was seized by Russian authorities.

Photo of Vladimir Lisin

10. Vladimir Lisin (1956 - )

With an HPI of 51.42, Vladimir Lisin is the 10th most famous Russian Businessperson.  His biography has been translated into 22 different languages.

Vladimir Sergeyevich Lisin (born 7 May 1956) is a Russian billionaire businessman. He is the chairman and majority shareholder of Novolipetsk (NLMK), one of the four largest steel companies in Russia. According to Bloomberg Billionaires Index he is the richest man in Russia and 58th richest in the world in April 2021 with an estimated net worth of US$ 26.6 billion.

Pantheon has 23 people classified as businesspeople born between 1832 and 1984. Of these 23, 17 (73.91%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living businesspeople include Roman Abramovich, Mikhail Khodorkovsky, and Arkady Rotenberg. The most famous deceased businesspeople include Sergei Diaghilev, Boris Berezovsky, and Pavel Tretyakov. As of April 2022, 3 new businesspeople have been added to Pantheon including Sergei Shchukin, Alexei Mordashov, and Oleg Tinkov.

Living Businesspeople

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Deceased Businesspeople

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Newly Added Businesspeople (2022)

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Which Businesspeople were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 6 most globally memorable Businesspeople since 1700.