Pavel Durov on his 26th birthday
10 October 1984 |
Leningrad, Soviet Union
|Alma mater||Saint Petersburg State University|
|Years active||October 2006–April 2014|
Founding VK in 2006Founding Telegram Messenger in 2013
|Net worth||US$ 260 million (2012)|
|Relatives||Nikolai Durov (brother)|
Pavel Valeryevich Durov (Russian: Па́вел Вале́рьевич Ду́ров; born 10 October 1984) is a Russian entrepreneur, best known for being the founder of the social networking site VK, and later the Telegram Messenger. He is the younger brother of Nikolai Durov.
Pavel Durov was born in Leningrad (now known as St. Petersburg), but spent most of his childhood in Italy, in the city of Turin. His father Valery (who holds a Ph. D. in philology) was employed there. He attended an Italian elementary school, and after returning to Russia at 2001 attended the Academy Gymnasium in St. Petersburg. At 2006 graduated the Faculty of philology of the Saint Petersburg State University, received first class degree.
Durov holds libertarian economic and political views and says he is a vegetarian and identifies as a Taoist. He published anarcho-capitalist manifestos describing his ideas on improving Russia. On his 27th birthday, he donated a million dollars to the Wikimedia Foundation.
Durov left Russia in 2014, stating that he had no desire to go back and that "the country is incompatible with Internet business at the moment".
On April 16, 2014 Durov publicly refused to hand over data of Ukrainian protesters to Russia's security agencies and block Alexey Navalny's page on VK. Instead he posted the relevant orders on his own VK page  claiming that the requests were unlawful.
On April 21, 2014 Durov was dismissed as VK CEO. The company claimed it was acting on a letter of resignation written by Durov a month earlier that he supposedly failed to recall. Durov then claimed the company had been effectively taken over by Vladimir Putin's allies, suggesting his ousting was the result both of his refusal to hand over personal details of users to the Russian Federal Security Service and his refusal to hand over the personal details of people who were members of a Vkontakte group dedicated to the Euromaidan protest movement. Durov then left Russia and stated he had "no plans to go back".
In August 2014 Pavel Durov was named the most promising Northern European leader under 30.
- Russian millionaire Pavel Durov tosses paper planes made of money out of window causing street fights Belfast Telegraph. Retrieved September 2012.
- "Why Telegram has become the hottest messaging app in the world", The Verge, 25 February 2014.
- "Prominent Russians: Pavel Durov", Russia Today. Retrieved 8 March 2013.
- Pavel's progile page on vk.com
- "A Manifesto for 21st-Century Russia, Afisha Magazine, 18 May 2012.
- "Founder of Facebook for Russia donates $1M to Wikipedia at DLD", VentureBeat, 24 January 2012
- "Durov, Out For Good From VK.com, Plans A Mobile Social Network Outside Russia", TechCrunch, 22 April 2014.
- Pavel's post on VK
- Pavel's post on VK
- "Vkontakte Founder Pavel Durov Learns He's Been Fired Through Media", The Moscow Times, 22 April 2014.
- "Pavel Durov left Russia after being pushed out", The Economic Times, 22 April 2014.
- "Russia’s Zuckerberg, 27, folds notes into paper aeroplanes and spends weekend throwing them from his window", Daily Mail, 30 May 2012.
- "Pavel Durov, Russian Millionaire, Throws Money Paper Planes Onto Passersby", The Huffington Post, 30 May 2012.
- "Pavel Durov the Most Promising Northern European Leader Under the Age of 30", Nordic Business Forum, 21 August 2014.