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    'Russian Zuckerberg' Steps Down as CEO of Vkontakte Social Network

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    Pavel Durov, the co-founder and CEO of Russia's most popular social networking site, VKontakte, has announced his resignation, following in the footsteps of his brother who quit last year.

    MOSCOW, April 1 (RIA Novosti) - Pavel Durov, the co-founder and CEO of Russia's most popular social networking site, VKontakte, has announced his resignation, following in the footsteps of his brother who quit last year.

    "Following my brother's decision to give up the technical director office in the middle of last year, I am also retiring as VKontakte's general director," Durov, sometimes called the 'Russian Zuckerberg,' wrote on his VKontakte page.

    He cited last year's shake-up in the composition of the company's stakeholders as significantly curbing his decision-making ability.

    "It is becoming harder and harder to defend the principles that once underlay our social network," he confessed in his message.

    "I am grateful to all users who supported and inspired me over the past seven years. I will continue to partake in the future of VKontakte as its co-founder, but I have no interest in any formal office given the new situation."

    VKontakte spokesman Pavel Lobushkin and the company's biggest shareholder, Mail.Ru Group, have not responded to the announcement.

    According to technology news agency Digit.ru, the Mail.Ru acquired the Bullion Development company from Ivan Tavrin, CEO of mobile powerhouse Megafon, in a deal that fetched the Russian e-commerce giant 12 percent of VKontakte's shares, giving it a controlling stake of 52 percent.

    VKontakte's second major stakeholder, UCP, which holds 48 percent of the shares, commented in February on the systematic decision-making that ran counter to the social network's vested interests.

    The news came amid an announcement that Durov's American counterpart and founder of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, reaped a hefty $3.3 billion last year, despite having an official salary of just one dollar.

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    VKontakte, Pavel Durov
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