Pavel Valeryevich Durov is the founder of VK and Telegram Messenger. He is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Telegram.
Durov, also known as Mark Zuckerberg of Russia, has an estimated net worth of US$15.1 billion, as of September 2022.
Pavel Durov began his career in 2006, by founding VKontakte with his elder brother Nikolai Durov, later it came to be known as VK. In 2011, Pavel was involved in a standoff with the police in Saint Petersburg when the government demanded the removal of opposition politicians' pages after the 2011 election to the Duma.
The next year, he posted a picture of himself extending his middle finger and calling it his official response to Mail.ru Group's efforts to buy VK. In 2013, Pavel decided to sell his 12% to Ivan Tavrin, a Russian investor, who later resold these shares to Mail.ru Group.
On 21 April 2014, Pavel Durov was dismissed as CEO of VK. On his dismissal, Durov claimed that the company had been effectively taken over by Vladimir Putin's allies, as he refused to hand over the personal details of VK users and Ukrainian protesters to Russia's security agencies. Later Durov left Russia and said that he had "no plans to go back".
After he left Russia, he obtained Saint Kitts and Nevis citizenship by donating $250,000 to the country's Sugar Industry Diversification Foundation and secured $300 million in cash within Swiss banks.
On 14 August 2013, Pavel Durov with his brother Nikolai Durov launched Telegram for iOS and on 20 October 2013 for Android. The headquarters of Telegram is based in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.
With a net worth of $15.1 billion, Pavel was listed on the Forbes Billionaires List in 2022. As of September 2022, he was the 104th richest person in the world.
Born on 10 October 1984, Pavel Durov was born in Leningrad but spent most of his childhood in Turin, Italy, where his father was employed. He did his graduation from the Philology Department of Saint Petersburg State University, where he received a first-class degree.
According to Forbes, Durov lives in Dubai, is not married, and has two children. In April 2021, he received United Arab Emirates citizenship. He is actually Russian, Kittitian, French, and Emirati.
In 2017, Pavel Durov was chosen to join the WEF Young Global Leaders, representing Finland. In 2018, Fortune magazine included Pavel in the "40 Under 40" list, an annual ranking of the most influential young people in business.