MegaFon CTO Alexander Bashmakov has left the company "to pursue other opportunities", it has emerged.
Bashmakov joined the Russian operator in March 2012 as its Chief Strategy Officer. In 2013, his responsibilities were extended to include procurement and logistics. He was appointed Chief Technological Officer in August 2015 and was shortlisted for Mobile Europe's CTO of the Year award 2017.
It is unclear what Bashmakov's future plans are, but his departure comes soon after MegaFon announced a new three-year strategy that looks to merge it with Russian internet company Mail.ru.
MegaFon Chief Executive Officer Sergey Soldatenkov said: “During Alexander’s time in the Company, MegaFon has greatly advanced in the field of innovation, service quality and business efficiency.
"MegaFon has strengthened its technological leadership in LTE and 5G, the company is developing single convergent billing and introducing new Agile management approaches and implementing many other projects — all those are to a great extent made possible thanks to the efforts of Alexander.
“I am sure he will make use of his experience at MegaFon in the undoubtedly successful endeavours he will be pursuing."
Bashmakov said at the time: "Right now as part of our development program we are creating the technological base for 5G so we can be the first in Russia to launch a commercial network using this technology and again astonish our subscribers with the fastest speeds."
The operator is also gearing up to launch what it claims will be a 5G network in time for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.