Pavel Durov

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Pavel Durov
TechCrunch Disrupt Europe Berlin 2013 (10536888854) (cropped).jpg
Durov in 2013
Born
Pavel Valeryevich Durov

(1984-10-10) 10 October 1984 (age 37)
CitizenshipRussian, Kittitian,[1] French,[2] Emirati
Alma materSaint Petersburg State University
OccupationEntrepreneur
Years active2006–present
Known forFounding VK in 2006
Founding Telegram Messenger in 2013
Children2
Parents
RelativesNikolai Durov (brother)
Websitet.me/durov

Pavel Valeryevich Durov (Russian: Павел Валерьевич Дуров; born 10 October 1984[3]) is a Russian-born French-Emirati entrepreneur who is known for being the founder of the social networking site VK and Telegram Messenger.[4] He is the younger brother of Nikolai Durov. For some years after his dismissal as CEO of VK in 2014,[5] the Durov brothers travelled the world in self-imposed exile[6] as citizens of Saint Kitts and Nevis.[7] In 2017, Pavel joined the World Economic Forum (WEF) Young Global Leaders as a representative of Finland.[8][9] Durov was naturalized as a French citizen in August 2021.[2] As of 2 May 2022, his net worth is estimated at US$15.1 billion.[10]

Early life and education[edit]

Pavel Durov was born in Leningrad, but spent most of his childhood in Turin, Italy, where his father was employed.[11] In 2006, he graduated from the Philology Department of the Saint Petersburg State University, where he received a first-class degree. Durov's early life and career are described in detail in the book The Durov Code. The True Story of VK and its Creator (2012).[12]

Family[edit]

Pavel Durov's grandfather Semyon Petrovich Tulyakov fought in World War II. He served in the 65th Infantry Regiment, participated in the battles on the Leningrad front at Krasnoborsky, Gatchinsky and elsewhere, and was wounded three times, receiving the Order of the Red Star,[13] the Order of the Patriotic War 2nd degree,[14] and on the 40th Victory Day, the Order of the Great Patriotic War level I.[15] After the war, he was arrested.[16]

Durov's father Valery Semenovich Durov is a Doctor of Philological Sciences and the author of many academic papers. Since 1992, he has been head of the department of classical philology of philological faculty of Saint Petersburg State University.[17]

Career[edit]

VK[edit]

In 2006, Durov started VKontakte, later known as VK, which was initially influenced by Facebook.[18] During the time when he and his brother Nikolai built up the VKontakte website, the company grew to a value of $3 billion.[7]

In 2011, he was involved in a standoff with the police in Saint Petersburg when the government demanded the removal of opposition politicians' pages after the 2011 election to the Duma; Durov posted a picture of a dog with his tongue out wearing a hoodie and the police left after an hour when he did not answer the door.[12][18]

In 2012, Durov publicly posted a picture of himself extending his middle finger and calling it his official response to Mail.ru Group's efforts to buy VK.[12] In December 2013, Durov decided to sell his 12% to Ivan Tavrin (at that time 40% of the shares belonged to Mail.ru Group, and 48% to the United Capital Partners). Later, Tavrin resold these shares to Mail.ru Group.[19][7][20][21]

Dismissal from VK[edit]

On 1 April 2014, Durov submitted his resignation to the board; at first, due to the fact the company confirmed he had resigned, it was believed to be related to the Russo-Ukrainian War which had started in February.[22] However, Durov himself claimed it was an April Fool's Joke on 3 April 2014.[23][24]

On 16 April 2014, Durov publicly refused to hand over the personal data of Ukrainian protesters to Russia's security agencies and block Alexei Navalny's page on VK.[5] Instead, he posted the relevant orders on his own VK page,[25][26] claiming that the requests were unlawful.

On 21 April 2014, Durov was dismissed as CEO of VK. The company claimed it was acting on his letter of resignation a month earlier that he failed to recall.[5][27] Durov then claimed the company had been effectively taken over by Vladimir Putin's allies,[27][28] suggesting his ouster was the result of both his refusal to hand over personal details of users to federal law enforcement and his refusal to hand over the personal details of people who were members of a VK group dedicated to the Euromaidan protest movement.[27][28] Durov then left Russia and stated that he had "no plans to go back"[28] and that "the country is incompatible with Internet business at the moment".[5]

Telegram[edit]

Upon leaving Russia, he obtained Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship through donating $250,000 to the country's Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation, and secured $300 million in cash within Swiss banks. This allowed him to focus on creating his next company, Telegram, focused on an encrypted messaging service of the same name. Telegram was headquartered in Berlin and later moved to Dubai.[7] In January 2018 it was revealed that, in a bid to monetize the growing success of Telegram, Durov was launching the "Gram" cryptocurrency and the TON platform.[29] It raised a total of $1.7 billion from investors.[30] However, these ventures were halted by American regulator SEC which argued in courts that Grams bypassed U.S. financing laws and should return the money to its investors.[31]

In 2018, Russia attempted to block Telegram, after the company refused to cooperate with Russian security services. A leaked letter by an FSB RF employee stated that the block was actually tied to the company's intention to launch the Telegram Open Network.[32] During the attempted block period, the Russian Foreign Affairs Ministry continued to operate official channels on the app. The block order was lifted in 2020, after two years of block attempts, which the service reportedly evaded using domain fronting. The stated reason was Telegram agreeing to "counter terrorism and extremism" on the platform.[33][34][35][36]

Wealth[edit]

Durov was listed on the Forbes Billionaires List in 2022, with a net worth of $15.1 billion. His fortune is largely driven by his ownership of Telegram. As of March 2022, Durov was the 112th richest person in the world.[10]

Personal life[edit]

According to Forbes, Durov is not married, and has two children.[10] He lives in Dubai.[37] In April 2021, he received United Arab Emirates citizenship.[38]

Views[edit]

Durov is a self-described libertarian, teetotaler and vegetarian.[39][40][41][42][43] Durov claims to have an ascetic lifestyle, and promotes freedom from personal possessions.[44][45][46]

For his twenty-seventh birthday in 2011, he donated a million dollars to the Wikimedia Foundation,[47] the founder and honorary chairman of which is fellow libertarian Jimmy Wales.[48] In 2012, he published manifestos described by commentators as "libertarianism" detailing his ideas on improving Russia.[49]

Accolades[edit]

Durov has been called the Mark Zuckerberg of Russia.[50] In August 2014, Durov was named the most promising Northern European leader under 30.[51] In 2017, he was chosen to join the WEF Young Global Leaders, representing Finland.[8][9] On 21 June 2018, the Union of Kazakhstan's Journalists bestowed an award on Durov "for his principled position against censorship and the state's interference into citizens' free online correspondence."[52] In 2018, Fortune magazine included Durov in their "40 Under 40" list, an annual ranking of the most influential young people in business.[53]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Vkontakte Founder Pavel Durov Becomes Citizen of St. Kitts and Nevis". The Moscow Times.,
  2. ^ a b "Décret du 23 août 2021 portant naturalisation, réintégration, mention d'enfants mineurs bénéficiant de l'effet collectif attaché à l'acquisition de la nationalité française par leurs parents, francisation de noms et de prénoms et libération de l'allégeance française (Accès protégé)". www.legifrance.gouv.fr. Retrieved 7 October 2021.
  3. ^ Cook, James. "The incredible life of Pavel Durov — 'Russia's Mark Zuckerberg' who is raising $2 billion for his messaging app". Business Insider. Retrieved 21 April 2022.
  4. ^ "Why Telegram has become the hottest messaging app in the world". The Verge. 25 February 2014. Archived from the original on 13 March 2016.
  5. ^ a b c d "Durov, Out For Good From VK.com, Plans A Mobile Social Network Outside Russia". TechCrunch. 22 April 2014. Archived from the original on 6 July 2017.
  6. ^ Hakim, Danny (2 December 2014). "Once Celebrated in Russia, the Programmer Pavel Durov Chooses Exile". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 6 September 2015. Retrieved 19 November 2015.
  7. ^ a b c d Vivienne Walt (February 2016). "With Telegram, A Reclusive Social Media Star Rises Again". Fortune. Archived from the original on 24 February 2016.
  8. ^ a b "ExoAtlet CEO Ekaterina Bereziy named Young Global Leader by World Economic Forum". 16 May 2017. Archived from the original on 17 May 2017.
  9. ^ a b "Young Global Leaders class of 2017". Archived from the original on 29 June 2017. Retrieved 8 June 2017.
  10. ^ a b c "Forbes profile: Pavel Durov". Forbes. Retrieved 2 May 2022.
  11. ^ "Is Pavel Durov a Kremlin target?". Bloomberg. 1 August 2013. Archived from the original on 7 March 2016.
  12. ^ a b c "The Pavel Durov Code: Five stories from the life of VK and its creator". Forbes (in Russian). 22 November 2012. Archived from the original on 19 April 2015.
  13. ^ Наградной лист Тулякова Семёна Петровича (in Russian). Вконтакте. 8 May 2015. Archived from the original on 29 June 2017.
  14. ^ "Фронтовой приказ № 692/н от 15.06.1945, страница 2". Электронный банк документов «Подвиг народа в Великой Отечественной войне 1941—1945 гг.». Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  15. ^ "Туляков Семен Петрович". Электронный банк документов «Подвиг народа в Великой Отечественной войне 1941—1945 гг.». Archived from the original on 15 March 2012. Retrieved 25 May 2016.
  16. ^ Николай Валуев объявил бойкот сети "ВКонтакте" (in Russian). Lenta.ru. 10 May 2012. Archived from the original on 15 March 2013. Retrieved 8 November 2012.
  17. ^ Дуров Валерий Семёнович (in Russian). Филологический факультет СПбГУ. Archived from the original on 25 December 2012. Retrieved 22 December 2012.
  18. ^ a b Danny Hakim (2 December 2014). "Once Celebrated in Russia, Programmer Pavel Durov Chooses Exile". New York Times. Archived from the original on 8 February 2015.
  19. ^ "Достиг идеала: Павел Дуров продал свою долю "ВКонтакте" Ивану Таврину". Forbes Russia. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 11 April 2021.
  20. ^ "Mail.ru deal firms control over VKontakte". Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  21. ^ "Russia's Mail.Ru buys remaining stake in VKontakte for $1.5 bln". Reuters. Archived from the original on 5 December 2014. Retrieved 20 January 2015.
  22. ^ "No joke as 'Russian Facebook' founder resigns amid dispute (Update)". 1 April 2014. Archived from the original on 8 March 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
    "Pavel Durov Resigns As Head Of Russian Social Network VK.com, Ukraine Conflict Was The Tipping Point". 1 April 2014. Archived from the original on 8 July 2017. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  23. ^ "Going, going, gone – Pavel Durov quits VK". Rusbase. 2 April 2014. Archived from the original on 6 March 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  24. ^ "Founder of Social Network VK Pavel Durov Says Resignation as CEO was April Fools' Prank". The Moscow Times. 4 March 2016. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 29 February 2016.
  25. ^ "Wall". Archived from the original on 9 February 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  26. ^ "Wall". Archived from the original on 11 September 2014. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  27. ^ a b c "Vkontakte Founder Pavel Durov Learns He's Been Fired Through Media". The Moscow Times. 22 April 2014. Archived from the original on 25 April 2014.
  28. ^ a b c "Pavel Durov left Russia after being pushed out", The Economic Times, 22 April 2014.
  29. ^ "Telegram plans multi-billion dollar ICO for chat cryptocurrency". TechCrunch. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  30. ^ Liptak, Andrew (1 April 2018). "Telegram has raised a total of $1.7 billion from its two pre-ICO sales". The Verge. Retrieved 7 June 2022.
  31. ^ Michael S. Sackheim, Nathan A. Howell, James B. Biery, Andrew P. Blake, Dominique Gallego, Teresa Wilton Harmon, James C. Munsell, David E Teitelbaum, Lilya Tessler, Allison Ross Stromberg, Daniel Engoren and Kristin S. Teager (2 September 2021). "The Virtual Currency Regulation Review: USA". The Law Reviews. Retrieved 14 April 2022.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  32. ^ "РБК: Telegram блокируют из-за планов Дурова создать криптовалюту". Meduza (in Russian). 20 April 2018. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  33. ^ Reuters Staff (18 June 2020). "Russia lifts ban on Telegram messaging app after failing to block it". Reuters. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  34. ^ Cimpanu, Catalin. "Russia unbans Telegram". ZDNet. Retrieved 6 March 2022.
  35. ^ Burgess, Matt (20 April 2018). "This is why Russia's attempts to block Telegram have failed". Wired. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  36. ^ Khurshudyan, Isabelle (28 June 2020). "How the founder of the Telegram messaging app stood up to the Kremlin — and won". The Washingtong Post. Retrieved 8 March 2022.
  37. ^ "Meet Pavel Durov, the tech billionaire who founded Telegram, fled from Moscow 15 years ago after defying the Kremlin, and has a penchant for posting half-naked selfies on Instagram". Business Insider. 28 March 2022.
  38. ^ Pavel Durov received UAE citizenship
  39. ^ "Pavel Durov". Archived from the original on 16 February 2017. Retrieved 26 January 2017.
  40. ^ Дуров затроллил православных: Теме надо было писать "Бог" с большой буквы, Slon.ru, 2012, archived from the original on 5 August 2016
  41. ^ Горелик А. (17 February 2012). "Владелец ВКонтакте Павел Дуров раздает миллионы и ездит по Питеру на метро" (in Russian). Комсомольская правда. Archived from the original on 23 May 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  42. ^ Ермаков А. (24 April 2014). ""Фонтанка" нашла Дурову страну". Fontanka.ru. Archived from the original on 25 April 2014. Retrieved 25 April 2014.
  43. ^ "Telegram App Is Booming but Needs Advertisers—and $700 Million Soon". Wall Street Journal. 17 March 2021. Retrieved 28 March 2021.
  44. ^ Daisy Sindelar (24 April 2014). "Durov, Activists Adjust Accordingly As Kremlin Cracks Down On Internet Rights". RadioFreeEurope. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  45. ^ "Деньги". Snob. 4 June 2012. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  46. ^ Eleonora Goldman (10 October 2017). "7 health secrets from the founder of Russian social network VK". Russia beyond the headlines. Retrieved 12 March 2021.
  47. ^ "Founder of Facebook for Russia donates $1M to Wikipedia at DLD". VentureBeat. 24 January 2012. Archived from the original on 22 July 2012.
  48. ^ Lamb, Brian (25 September 2005). "Q&A: Jimmy Wales, Wikipedia founder". C-SPAN. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 31 October 2006.
  49. ^ "A Manifesto for 21st-Century Russia". Afisha. 18 May 2012. Archived from the original on 3 September 2012.
  50. ^ "Pavel Durov, Russian Millionaire, Throws Money Paper Planes Onto Passersby". The Huffington Post. 30 May 2012. Archived from the original on 26 July 2012.
  51. ^ "Pavel Durov the Most Promising Northern European Leader Under the Age of 30". Nordic Business Forum. 21 August 2014. Archived from the original on 26 August 2014.
  52. ^ "Telegram's Durov Awarded In Kazakhstan For Standing Against Censorship". Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty. 21 June 2018. Archived from the original on 22 June 2018.
  53. ^ "Pavel Durov". Fortune. 19 July 2018. Retrieved 30 July 2018.

External links[edit]