Pavel Durov, Vkontakte founder
Pavel Durov is the founder of the social networking site Vkontakte (VK) and its chief executive officer.
A handsome tech prodigy looks a bit like Keanu Reeves’s character, Neo. The Western press often refers to him as “Russian Mark Zuckerberg”.
Durov was born on October 10, 1984 in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg). He spent part of his childhood in Turin, Italy, because his father, Valery (who holds a Ph. D. in philology), worked there. Pavel’s older brother Nikolai won medals in international math and programming competitions.
Durov attended an Italian elementary school, and after returning to Russia entered the Academy Gymnasium in St. Petersburg. As a student Durov created his first social network, a forum for teachers and students.
Pavel is one of the best and most talented Russian programmers. Durov became an emblem for Internet-era success in Russia.
In 2006 was created a Russian social network. On October 1, 2006, LLC “Vkontakte” registered the domain Vkontakte.ru, and from that day began the official history of the most popular social network in Russia and the CIS countries.
In 2007 the newspaper “Business Petersburg” called Durov one of the best young entrepreneurs of the year.
In 2011, Pavel was the third in the list of “9 most unusual Russian businessmen” by Forbes Russia. The same magazine published a list of the “30 most prominent figures of Russian Internet business”, where Pavel took the seventh place.
On his 27th birthday, he donated a million dollars to the Wikimedia Foundation.
On November 19, 2012 was published a book by Nikolai Kononov, “Durov Code”, which describes the formation of “Vkontakte” and its creator. Kononov says: “Durov is the architect who controls the whole system. He works only for himself, plays only his game.”