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'Russian Facebook' founder says he was joking about resignation

April 03, 2014, 17:40 UTC+3 MOSCOW

On his own page Pavel Durov posted this remark, “Congratulations to those who decided that I should really voluntarily resign”

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Pavel Durov

Pavel Durov


MOSCOW, April 03. /ITAR-TASS/. Pavel Durov, the founder and CEO of Russia's most popular social networking site, (VKontakte), presented his planned resignation as an April Fool’s Day joke.

On his own page he posted this remark, “Congratulations to those who decided that I should really voluntarily resign.”

Durov, often referred to as "Russian Mark Zuckerberg”, who announced Tuesday he was stepping down as the company's CEO, sent a letter on Thursday night to members of the board of directors withdrawing his resignation.

“Since it came to my knowledge that my resignation at this moment can create unnecessary risks for our company, I intend to remain and serve as CEO,” Durov was quoted as saying by Forbes Magazine.


Resignation announcement

On April 1, Durov wrote on his page, “Following my brother (Nikolay Durov), who in the middle of last year left the post of technical director, I resign as acting general director of VKontakte.”

“As a result of events subsequent to the change in the shareholding of VKontakte in April 2013, the freedom of the CEO to manage the company has been significantly reduced," he posted. “It’s becoming increasingly difficult to defend those principles which were once laid in the foundation of our social network."


VKontakte most populat social network in Russia

VKontakte, which means “In Touch” in Russian, was launched by Durov in October of 2006. The social network, available in several languages, has proved very popular in Russia with an estimated 230 million members.

In January, Durov announced the sale of his 12% stake in to Ivan Tavrin, CEO of the Russian mobile network MegaFon and the co-owner of YuTV holding. In March, Russia’s largest Internet company, Mail.Ru Group, purchased 11.99% of the shares bringing it up to 51.99% holding and a controlling stake in the social network.

The second largest shareholder of, the United Capital Partners (UCP) fund of Ilya Shcherbovich in the spring of 2013 took over 48% of shares from primary investors Vyacheslav Mirilashvili and Lev Leviyev. UCP was said to have insisted on Durov’s resignation.

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