Vagit Y. Alekperov
What it is:
Vagit Y. Alekperov is the founder of Russian oil giant Lukoil.
How it works/Example:
Born in 1950 in Baku, Azerbaijan, Alekperov is the youngest of five children. He went into the oil industry at the age of 22 as a drill operator in Siberia. Alekperov earned his Ph.D. from the Azerbaijan Oil and Gas Institute in 1974. Over the years, he worked his way up the ladder, becoming a team leader, then deputy chief, then deputy director general. In 1982, Alekperov became the director general of Kogalymneftegaz Oil, which was the springboard to a job as the Soviet Union's deputy minister of oil and gas.
In 1991, the Russian government began attempting to privatize certain state enterprises. As a result, Alekperov helped found a state-owned energy company called Langepas-Uray-Kogalymneft in 1991. In 1993, Alekperov became the president of Lukoil.
Why it matters:
Lukoil is a major energy company that emerged from the Soviet Union's efforts to privatize some of its state-owned assets. Through Alekperov's leadership and management tactics, the company became one of the world's largest oil companies and helped make Russia a global powerhouse in the energy industry, rivaling ExxonMobil in size. The company is publicly traded on the OTC (TICKER: LUKOY)