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Former Morgan Stanley CEO Mack to Leave Rosneft Board

John Mack
John Mack, the former chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley. Photographer: Peter Foley/Bloomberg

John Mack, the former chief executive officer of Morgan Stanley, said he’s leaving the board of Russian oil producer OAO Rosneft, a month after the U.S. sanctioned the firm’s CEO.

Mack, 69, who also serves as an adviser to KKR & Co. and China Investment Corp., always planned on stepping down after one year, he said in an interview today. Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin asked him to serve one year after Mack turned down a request to commit for a three-year term, Mack said.

A Rosneft spokesman said in an e-mail that Mack is leaving for personal reasons. Shareholders will vote on new directors at the June 27 annual general meeting.

Mack joined the board last year as Rosneft was completing its $55 billion purchase of TNK-BP from BP Plc to become the world’s largest publicly traded oil producer. Rosneft nominated Russian Senator Artur Chilingarov, 74, to fill the vacancy, the Moscow-based company said in a regulatory filing this week.

The U.S. announced in April that Sechin, 53, is on a list of people facing sanctions as the nation sought to place pressure on the inner circle of Russia President Vladimir Putin amid tensions in Ukraine. The sanctions didn’t extend to Rosneft, which is state-run.

Morgan Stanley agreed last year to sell its physical oil unit to Rosneft as it faced regulatory pressure to scale back commodities operations. The sale hasn’t been submitted for regulatory approval, and the companies will probably wait until political tensions cool, a person with knowledge of the situation said last month.

Mack has been a donor and political supporter of Hillary Clinton, an early front-runner in the 2016 U.S. presidential race who has spoken in favor of the sanctions.

“The flood of money out of Russia in the last several months has been astonishing, and I hope it continues,” Clinton, a former U.S. secretary of state and senator, said last month as she announced she hasn’t made a decision on running for president. “That is the best way to undermine the oligarchs who support him -- undermine his own economic interests.”

(An earlier version of this story corrected the timing of Mack’s departure.)

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