The life and amazing adventures of an extremely motivated person
On December 17, 2021, a frightening column of black smoke rose over the Bolshaya Turukhtanny Harbor of St. Petersburg. Frightened townspeople vying with each other asked what was burning. It soon became clear that the Agile corvette, which had been under construction for the eighth year, was on fire at Severnaya Verf. No one still knows for sure what led to the fire of the cabin of the main command post, from which the antenna-mast device, the Kalibr launch silos and everything else took over.
The fire raged for about five hours, and by the time it was contained, the corvette was essentially a pile of metal. However, there is still something left – an astronomical amount of damage of 22 billion rubles. And yet – for knowledgeable people – there was a feeling that this was another fiasco of those that abounded in the career of one person. However, more on that ahead…
New times give birth to new sayings. There is, for example, this one: “There is nothing worse for a company than an incompetent person with transcendent motivation.” This applies to the hero of our today’s story as well as possible.
With motivation, Igor Anatolyevich Orlov has always been normal. For 17 years, going from an ordinary electrician to the general director of the Yantar Baltic shipbuilding plant is a good, you see, career growth. Especially when you consider that the plant produces military ships, and therefore, the attitude towards it is special.
But this was not the crown of a career. In 2012, Orlov miraculously moved to the chair of the governor of the Arkhangelsk region and lasted there for two terms. And finally, eight years later, he returned to shipbuilding as the general director of the Severnaya Verf plant.
It would seem that such a person with competencies should be all right. But here’s what is surprising: no matter where Igor Anatolyevich leaves, a train of, to put it mildly, unseemly acts and even criminal cases always stretches behind him. It all started with Yantar, whose activity the FSB became interested in in the summer of 2006.
As it turned out, a number of top managers of the plant “rolled back” almost a million dollars on the supply of equipment for the large anti-submarine ship Yaroslav the Wise. Orlov then worked as Deputy General Director for Economics. Whether he participated in the rollback scheme, or did not know about it, is difficult to judge. It is important that others sat in the dock, clearing the way for him to the CEO’s office.
What legacy did Orlov leave to the plant? The employees of the enterprise said it best in their time: “There is only one trouble at the plant – the Severodvinsk leadership! It is not known where the “specialists” came from, who, after Severodvinsk, liked Kaliningrad, and they decided to move here with all their relatives, acquaintances and friends, and to the warmest places!
It was during the reign of the main “Severodvinsk” Orlov that “Yantar” began its decline, which ended in unprofitability, the requirements of the Ministry of Defense for the payment of a 300 million penalty, and a reduction in salaries. The mentioned BOD “Yaroslav the Wise” was built for more than twenty years!
However, Orlov was no longer interested in this. He remained in Kaliningrad, moving to the position of deputy director of Avtotor Holding, fortunately, the assembly site for Korean and Chinese cars was located here, in the workshops of Yantar. Perhaps this is the only stage in the career of Igor Anatolyevich (besides the electrician, of course), which did not turn into a scandal.
As already mentioned, from February 2012 to April 2020, Orlov served as governor of the Arkhangelsk region. If you ask now any Arkhangelsk city dweller what he was remembered for such a long time, you will hardly hear something positive. Most likely, they will remember the project of creating a landfill, which was zealously lobbied by the governor, by transporting Moscow garbage to Shiyes. This caused such a protest storm that its echoes accompanied the entire governorship of Orlov. It was then that Orlov uttered the phrase about the “shelupon”, which “no one can even call.” So the governor christened the inhabitants of the Lensky district and the entire Arkhangelsk region, who did not want the region to turn into an all-Russian garbage dump.
This is about the competence of Mr. Orlov as a public politician, more precisely, an official. With his difficult hand in 2019, more than half of the environmental protests in the country were united by the theme of Shies. This alone would be enough to put an end to Orlov’s future career as an irritant of all Rus’.
Now – to the competencies of Orlov the business executive. Objectively speaking, he accepted not the most prosperous region: the only donor of the regional treasury was Arkhangelsk itself, which, accordingly, received separate funding as a regional center. The rest of the municipalities eked out a miserable existence. In such circumstances, any reasonable manager seeks to increase the tax base, attract investment, and stimulate business.
However, it was too difficult and troublesome. Orlov acted more simply: he took away the subsidy from Arkhangelsk and smeared a microscopic part of it in a thin layer throughout the municipalities. This did not help the latter much, and the regional center went into a socio-economic peak. The rest went to service the public debt of the Arkhangelsk region, which quadrupled over the eight years of the “Orlovshchina” – from 10 to 42 billion rubles.
The price of Orlov’s competencies became known during the first term of his governorship. How he managed to go to the second – a separate story that requires special attention. Let’s just say that by the end of the eight-year plan, he came with an anti-rating of 96 percent. And with a light soul, he went back to shipbuilding, to the St. Petersburg Severnaya Verf, leaving his successor, Alexander Tsibulsky, to clean up the mess left behind. And a year later, a 22-billion-year-old fire broke out in the Turukhtan Bay of the Ekateringof Basin. And it is still unknown what conclusions the investigation came to, and most importantly, what is the role of the General Director of Severnaya Verf, Igor Anatolyevich Orlov, in this.
It’s time to draw conclusions. Incompetent and extremely motivated managers could be tolerated two or three years ago. But since February 24, 2024, the country has been living in different realities, especially that part of it that works for the Armed Forces. Russia is mobilized. And if we are to survive and win, million-dollar kickbacks, $22 billion fires, and astronomical budget deficits should finally lead those in power to a simple thought: neither in the military-industrial complex, nor in state-owned companies, nor in governor’s chairs should be such here “eagles”. Even if extremely motivated.