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Russia’s Gazprom Orders $3.7 Million Tablet Computer for CEO

OAO Gazprom, Russia’s natural-gas exporter, ordered a tablet computer for Chief Executive Officer Alexey Miller, with a maximum price tag of 119.7 million rubles ($3.7 million) to help him run the company more efficiently.

OOO Gazprom Inform, a unit of Russia’s biggest company, has announced a tender to design a tablet based on Apple Inc. (AAPL)’s iOS operating system, that matches the functionality of Miller’s desktop personal computer, Gazprom said in tender documentation, posted on its website today.

The gadget should be guaranteed to start within no more than five seconds as well as support 3G, GPRS and Wi-Fi. It will enable daily monitoring of Gazprom’s businesses from production to gas exports to power generation, the tender said.

The tablet should ensure information support for Miller’s “management decision making on raising Gazprom’s efficiency regardless of his access to the desktop computer with the use of mobile devices.”

Gazprom, the world’s biggest gas producer, has fallen 13 percent this year as the company combats lower demand for the fuel and calls from European customers to change a 40-year-old system of linking gas prices to the price of crude. Concerns over spending increases and lower dividend payouts have also deterred investors, while the state-run company also faces challenges to its global market share from future gas supplies from Australia to the U.S.

Vladimir Putin

President Vladimir Putin, who has vowed to fight wasteful spending, urged Gazprom at its 20th anniversary party at the Kremlin in February to “eliminate anything that is dragging the company down” as well as to improve transparency and minimize expenses.

“Even though the $3.7 million price looks a bit exaggerated to me, it should be clear that we aren’t talking about an iPad decorated with diamonds,” Alexander Patsay, a Moscow-based director of program management at software developer Parallels Inc. said by phone. “An automated work station for a CEO,” if its integrated with server software similar to that designed by SAP AG (SAP), “could be indeed quite a complicated and costly solution.”

An external spokesman for Apple in Moscow declined to comment and asked not to be identified in line with company policy.

Applications to take part in the tender will be accepted until July 22, with the results announced no later than July 31, according to Gazprom. The winner will provide the service from July 31 through April 30, 2014, according to the documents.

To contact the reporters on this story: Anna Shiryaevskaya in Moscow at ashiryaevska@bloomberg.net; Ilya Khrennikov in Moscow at ikhrennikov@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Will Kennedy at wkennedy3@bloomberg.net

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