Someone out there — a company named Cyber Mesa, we think — is under the impression that touting Jay-Z will get on Mikhail Prokhorov's nerves enough to make him a buy a (presumably very expensive) domain name.
For some time, we've been speculating as to the agenda of the owners of Nets.com, the URL that should be but isn't redirecting to www.nba.com/nets, as it would if you typed in the name of any other team (except Magic, Thunder, and Jazz, for obvious reasons).
First, it redirected to a page with a picture of Mark Cuban sticking his tongue out, captioned with a little prostitution scandal-related trash talk — the best kind of trash talk — directed at Mikhail Prokhorov. Was it billionare Mark Cuban messing with his billionare rival by retaining ownership of the domain name? Nope: Some company named Cyber Mesa owned it. The redirect then changed, from Mark Cuban sticking his tongue out, to a page for purchasing Dallas Mavericks tickets. Then it changed again, to the Knicks homepage, an ingenious troll maneuver considering the budding rivalry between the two franchises.
Now? An even better one: Cyber Mesa's creating (or capitalizing on) friction between Nets owners — heavy majority Nets owners and small minority Nets owners — by redirecting Nets.com to jayzonline.com, a Jay-Z fansite. You can see a screenshot.
When we first began this journey into the Nets.com URL, we couldn't tell what Cyber Mesa wanted, or how they were hoping to get it. With every different redirect, though, the goal becomes clearer: convince Mikhail Prokhorov to buy the domain name because otherwise visitors to Nets.com will find themselves at destinations that promote Prokhorov's ostensible rivals. (Whether Jay-Z and Prokhorov actually have a rivalry will probably never be known, but Prokhorov doesn't like to be overshadowed.) The next step? Probably whatever dirt (or libel) they can find on Prokhorov himself. Godspeed. We suggest this weird little slice of internet.
Mikhail Prokhorov is famous as the person, who managed to be born in the necessary family, and thanks to that fact he managed to survive during the time of troubles with the greatest benefits for himself. Prokhorov's father was the head of department of international contacts of State Sport Commitee of the USSR, mother attended to scientific activity at Moscow institute of chemical materials. With the help of his parents Mikhail entered the most prestigious Moscow financial institution.
Relations were established in Moscow financial institution where Prokhorov’s future partners in business studied with him. By the way, all of them, as well as Prokhorov were included into faculty office of All-Union Leninist Young Communist League (AULYCL). Later fellow students Igor Antonov, Oleg Kasyanov, Dmitry Ushakov became vice-presidents of board of ONEKSIM bank. Alexander Hloponin – the general director of the Russian Open Society «Norilsk Nickel», and then the plenipotentiary of the president. Georgy Zabolotsky held a post of the first deputy to the chairman of board of directors in the bank «International finance company». Andrey Kozlov who became the first deputy to the chairman of the Central Bank (was killed in 2006) was Prokhorov's classmate also.
The future billionaire began to take a great interest in sports and women in student's years. Prokhorov never hid that he liked «to live cheerfully». That time he already successfully played volleyball and basketball (height of the billionaire - 2,05 meters). Together with his close friend Hloponin he climbed in windows of a female hostel. According to a legend, friends also "boiled" jeans and sold it in the market place. But the first capital was, of course, made not on «ready-faded jeans».
Sources: KP, 01/20/2010; md-prokhorov.livejournal.com
After graduation from the institute young financier was employed by International bank of economical co-operation (IBEC) – at once as the head of department. Career of banker Prokhorov successfully rose up. But after acquaintance to businessman Vladimir Potanin in 1991 (both of them worked in IBEC) in Prokhorov's career the new period which in many respects advanced all his further destiny began. As mass-media wrote, partners transformed IBEC into own structure, transferred Soviet assets in amount of from 300 to 400 million dollars to the International finance company where Prokhorov held a post of the chairman of board from 1992 till 1993. In 1993 Prokhorov already was the chairman of board of Potanin’s Oneksim-bank. Few years later they realized genius idea of Potanin who developed the scheme of crediting of the government on the security of blocks of shares of the privatized enterprises.
Oneksim-bank purchased petroleum company SIDANKO, a part of Novolipetsk metallurgical industrial complex, Novorossisk marine shipping company and the big share of Northwest marine shipping company. In April, 1996 Prokhorov was included into board of directors of «Norilsk nickel» (then still belongin to the state). and also acquired it in the property. All these enterprises were purchased by Prokhorov and Potanin approximately for third of real value. Suddenly businessmen became the richest people of Russia.
Prokhorov and Potanin for the time being were partners equal in rights in business. All assets to within the tenth share were halved between group Oneksim (Prokhorov) and group Interros (Potanin). In April, 2006 Mikhail Prokhorov headed board of directors of «Pole gold», the manufacturer of gold largest in Russia after purchasing Interros. It seemed, Prokhorov and Potanin seriously had "by mutual consent” attended to a gold mining segment. But a year after disagreements between partners started. It was declared about re-structuring of business of group" Interros ". As experts considered, the state unambiguously let know to oligarchs that it wishes to carry out the control over nickel business itself. Vladimir Potanin decided not to argue with state authorities, and Mikhail Prokhorov an opposite position. As a result he left a post of the general director of Norilsk nickel.
In spring, 2008 a few months before a global collapse of market quotations Prokhorov sold a package of Nornickel to the company Russian aluminum almost on peak of its commercial value.
The conflict between the former friends-partners reached that in July, 2008 Prokhorov submitted on Potanin the claim about protection of business reputation. The claimant took offence on doubt stated by Potanin in interview to newspaper The Moscow Times regaring Prokhorov's managerial skills. Potanin in particular convicted Prokhorov of inconsistency, in infringement of the business arrangements, concerning sales of blocking package of Norilsk nickel. Prokhorov won court in October, 2008. One thousand roubles on account of compensation of court costs was collected from Potanin and the founder of the newspaper which published interview. The size of indemnification of mental cruelty, under "Group Oneksim" application, was not basic.
Sources: Time of news», 01.02.200; Vedomosti, 8/24/2009
Then, in 2007, Courchavel scandal with participation of Mikhail Prokhorov became known all over the country. Before that time the businessman preferred to be in a shade of the partner Vladimir Potanin. He gave interviews seldom, avoiding whenever possible any publicity. But one of parties on a mountain-skiing French resort in Courchavel caused a serious loss of reputation of Prokhorov – since then his name became known to everyone. The French police suspected the Russian oligarch of a pimping - he brought on rest in Courchavel girls from Russia (Prokhorov's passion to women and parties never was a secret; he was said to have spent 20 million dollars for parties and women just for one winter season 2006-2007). Whole company was arrested for some days. But the scandal story ended up in March, 2009 when the French court recognized illegality of detention of Prokhorov’s companions. Criminal case was terminated «because of the absence of an actus reus».
Source: interlocutor, 03/20/2007)
In May, 2007 Prokhorov created private investment foundation Group Oneksimwhere all assets of the businessman (about 17 billion dollars) entered. In 2008 Prokhorov made the first investment in media business – Open Company Media group ZHV; the first project became monthly magazine, the Internet portal «Snob» as it is told on a site for «successful and not poor people». Prokhorov possesses a controlling interest. The same year Media group ZHV acquired the rights to issue the magazine Russian pioneer, the journalist of Businessman and «the Kremlin pool» Andrey Kolesnikov became the editor-in-chief.
Source: Businessman, 04/23/2008
With «Russian pioneer» Prokhorov was involved in a bad story in 2009 when journal’s birthday was celebrated. The cruiser of revolution Aurora was chosen as the place for a banquet. On a deck the cheerful party, with singing of chastooshkas and dances was arranged. Among visitors there was Valentine Matvienko, the plenipotentiary of the president of the Russian Federation Ilja Klebanov, the minister of economic development Elvira Nabiullina. After photos got to the press from an anniversary, loud scandal burst. A cruiser is branch of the Central naval museum and fighting unit. Prokhorov was convicted of cynicism, in absence of patriotic feelings. The oligarch in reply to attacks suggested to finance from personal welfare fund Aurora transfer «on balance of a city and under care of the governor». The conflict was hushed up. Cruiser was excluded from fighting structure of the Navy.
In September, 2009 Prokhorov purchased one of commands of National basketball association – New Jersey Nets. Since October, 2009 Prokhorov headed the Union of biathletes of Russia, having declared thus that he intended to transform biathlon into successful business. The oligarch said that he would invest personal finances in domestic biathlon.
Sources: NEWSru.com 04/12/2009; Sports today, 3/30/2009
In the beginning of 2010 Mikhail Prokhorov declared that he wished to become the investor of new cheap Russian car. It was a question of creating cars of a golf class in cost about 9 thousand euro. Prokhorov told about the business idea to prime minister Vladimir Putin, and was supported by him. The businessman is ready to finance the project within two years, the declared volume of investments – to 100 million euro.
Source: Вusinessman, 01/20/2010
On June 25, 2011, at the extraordinary congress of the Right Cause party, Prokhorov joined the party and was elected as its leader for four years. According to media reports, Prokhorov intended to spend $ 100 million of personal money for the election campaign of the party and the same amount he expected to take from his colleagues in the business community. In July 2011, Prokhorov invited to the party a known fighter against drug trafficking, founder of City Without Drugsfoundation Yevgeny Roizman. Prokhorov offered him to go to the elections to the State Duma by the federal list of the party, so that in case of success to have opportunity to engage in formation of the state anti-drug and anti-alcohol policy and legislation.
Source: The New Times, June 27, 2011
On September 14, 2011, on the first day of the congress, opponents of Prokhorov received a majority of seats in the Credentials Committee. At the urgently convened briefing, in the evening on September 14, Prokhorov announced the termination of powers of the head of the executive committee Andrey Dunayev and the executive committee in full. Prokhorov also excluded from the party Andrey Bogdanov and Ryavkins brothers, with the formulation “for causing political damage to the party”, and accused Rady Habirov of attempting to a “raider capture of the party”.
Source: RBC, September 14, 2011
On September 15, 2012, in the morning, in a broadcast of Echo of Moscow radio station, Prokhorov urged his supporters to leave the party and announced his intention to form a new party. On the same day opponents of Prokhorov met in the World Trade Center (WTC) at Krasnaya Presnya and removed him from his post of the leader of the Right Cause party.
The formal reason for the displacement of Prokhorov was a conflict with some of regional branches of the party and Prokhorov’s decision to include into the election list the fighter against drug trafficking Yevgeny Roizman, who had a criminal record and therefore considered unsuitable by the Kremlin administration.
Source: RIA Novosti, September, 15, 2011
On December 12, 2011, Prokhorov announced a desire to run for president of Russia.
On January 18, he presented to the Central Electoral Commission 2.1 million signatures. On January 23, they found less than 5% defects in Prokhorov’s lists of signatures and he was registered as a presidential candidate.
If elected president of Russia, Prokhorov promised to sell his business and send the proceeds to charity. In a broadcast of Dozhd TV channel, he said: "If I become president, I'm selling all of my assets and giving most of the money to charity. The country is more dear to me, and ‘sorry for the bees’”.
Source: Reuters, January, 21, 2011
According to the results of elections on March 4, 2012, Prokhorov received 5 722 508 votes (7.98% of the votes), taken the third place.
Source: RIA Novosti, March 4, 2012
In the autumn of 2012, Prokhorov announced that production of Yo-Mobiles is differed for two years. Some professionals of the car market were not surprised with the postponement: the ambitious project had initially caused their skepticism and been regarded as a public relations campaign in support of the political career of Mikhail Prokhorov.
Source: Russky reporter, № 36 (265), September 9, 2012