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Lev Khasis – Biography And Career In Management And Entrepreneurship

by Tracy Finke

Way to Success: Lev Khasis’s Biography and Career

He is often called a tireless workaholic. He devotes all his time to work and believes that it is this ability that has helped him reach heights in management and business. How did Lev Khasis start, what stages did he go through to achieve his goals and come to professional success?

Fundamental education as the key to future achievements

Born in the 1960s to a family of aircraft engineers, Lev Khasis dreamt of continuing the family dynasty and building airplanes from an early age. His dream began to come true after he received his high school diploma and passed entrance exams to the aircraft engineering department of the Kuibyshev Aviation Institute.

The young man’s active life position didn’t allow him to dwell only on engineering. He took the initiative in the student cultural sector, organized KVNs and field entertainment events. In his last years, he cooperated with the international relations department and attracted foreign students to study at his alma mater. However, his extracurricular activities didn’t distract Lev Khasis from his main task. At the end of the 1980s, he graduated with honors.

Lev Khasis – start of work

With the collapse of the Soviet Union, the once-prestigious profession of aircraft engineer was no longer a promising one. There was no point in working in the aviation industry, so Lev Khasis turned to commerce. At first, he opened advertising agencies Vekt and InterVolga on an equal footing with other founders and then headed the Samara Trading House.

As he later recalled: “If I had been told earlier that I would be a haggler, I would have been very offended. This profession, in terms of my upbringing and environment, was considered improper. But times changed, and so did we.”

At the beginning of the 90s, the successful graduate of KuAI began his way in the banking sphere. First he became director of Avtovazbank’s branch and was responsible for business development in Samara, and two years later he became vice president of the entire company, which at the time was one of the top 10 banks in the country. With his background in economics, Lev Khasis was appointed bankruptcy trustee of the Samara Aviation Plant after its bankruptcy in 1994.

Trying to save the company, where his parents had worked, he took many decisive actions. But, unfortunately, no financial and industrial groups were behind him, and Lev Aronovich had no possibilities for investing and developing the company.

The situation changed when the plant was purchased by Russian Aluminum, due to which the court stopped the insolvency case one and a half years later. Subsequently, it was restructured into the joint-stock company Aviacor, where Lev Khasis took over as president of the company. At the same time, he was also part-time vice-president of Alfa-Bank.

Professional becoming and development

Realizing the need for professional development, in the mid-90s Lev Khasis retrained in banking at the Financial University under the government and then received a third diploma at the law department of the St. Petersburg University of the Interior Ministry. A few years later, he was awarded the degree of doctor of economics.

At the turn of the second millennium, Lev Khasis’s career changed. On the advice of Mikhail Fridman, he turned his attention to the promising retail sector. He worked as chair of the board of directors of the Moscow department stores TSUM and GUM, and became a member of the management board of TD Perekrestok.

Demonstrating the best business qualities, throughout the noughties, he progressed in his chosen field, made connections, formed large corporate orders, made adjustments, which gave effect and led to significant changes in indicators. After the creation of X5 Retail Group, which united several retail chains, he was appointed its chief executive.

His desire for development and self-improvement led Lev Aronovich to change his occupation and acquire new competences. In 2013, he received an offer from German Gref and took a position on the board of Sberbank, where for the next nine years he was engaged in advertising and marketing communications, coordinated the pricing policy, took part in creating the Sber ecosystem, and developed the external and internal communications of the group. In mid-February 2024, Lev Khasis decided to end his work on the bank’s management board in order to devote time to developing his own projects.