Russian Fishery Company names new CEO, posts big increase in processed pollock production

A Russian Fishery Company supertrawler
Russian Fishery Company's new supertrawlers have helped it increase its processed pollock production | Photo courtesy of Russian Fishery Company
4 Min

Russian Fishery Company (RFC), one of the largest pollock producers in the world, announced it has selected a new CEO in the midst of a successful A pollock season.

The company announced on 14 May that its current CEO, Olga Naumova, will step down at the beginning of June. Naumova will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors and will be replaced by Savely Karpukhin – previously the company’s director of strategy and commercial affairs.

Russian Fishery Company's new CEO, Savely Karpukhin | Photo courtesy of Russian Fishery Company

“We thank Olga for her leadership; over these two years, we have built a strong team, achieved high operational results, launched a new fleet, and found right solutions in an ever-changing market,” RFC Board Chair Evgeny Orlov said in a release.

Naumova took the leadership role in January 2022, months before the company’s founder and owner Gleb Frank sold his stake in the company after the U.S. decided to impose sanctions on him.

RFC said that during Naumova’s tenure, she improved efficiency of key business processes, established a new mentoring system to retain key specialists, and increased the delivery rate of new supertrawlers built at Russian shipyards. 

“RFC is undoubtedly a leader in the industry; we have succeeded in forming an effective, results-driven team,” Naumova said. “We have improved the working conditions for our fishermen, optimized production processes for quality output, and revamped our supply chains, including the technical outfitting of our vessels. I am confident that RFC will overcome all challenges and further solidify its leadership.”

Naumova also oversaw increases to the company’s pollock catch. The company announced its four supertrawlers, the Vladimir Limanov, Captain Vdovichenko, Mechanic Maslak, and Mecahnic Sizov, are all among the top-10 fishing vessels in Russia by volume during the country’s A pollock season. The company said it has also expanded its deeply processed products production. 

According to a release, the company has increased its production of pollock fillets to 15,300 metric tons (MT), a 14 percent increase compared to 2023. It has also seen large increases in its surimi production; RFC has produced 19,500 MT of surimi so far in 2024, an increase of 66 percent compared to 2023.

"RFC's leadership in season A 2024 is a clear affirmation of the effectiveness and capabilities of our new ST-192 vessels,” Naumova said. 

RFC has focused on producing more surimi products and first debuted additional product types in 2021 after the completion of the first of 10 planned supertrawlers. The company said domestic market supply of fillets and surimi have continued to increase, and so far in 2024, supply has risen 46 percent compared to 2023. 

The increased supply comes as Russia has faced more difficulties exporting its products amid sanctions and bans of its products overseas. An expanded ban by the U.S. on Russian seafood imports has had a minor impact, but the European Union’s continued sanctions are affecting prices.

RFC said it is working to build the domestic market by promoting pollock consumption through various initiatives, including a pollock festival. It added that the market for fillets and surimi in China and Southeast Asian countries is growing and the company recently sent its first shipments of pollock to Vietnam.

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