Friday, June 21, 2024

Alexey Molchanov Steps Down As Molchanovs International CEO; Gear Sales Within Russia Suspended


In the wake of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, freediving company Molchanovs International has announced it will no longer sell gear in Russia, and co-founder Alexey Molchanov has stepped down from his position as CEO.

According to a company statement:

“While Molchanovs International has always been a Singapore incorporated company, many view it as a Russian company while Alexey Molchanov stands at its head as CEO. Alexey understands this perception, which is why he has decided to step down from his position and asked Molchanovs International Co-founder and founding CEO Chris Kim to step back into his former position as CEO.

“Chris has accepted and will lead from the Singapore office, and Alexey will remain to oversee the gear development and operations (in particular the transition of the gear production out of Russia) and a member of the Movement Board. The leadership team will now consist of Chris, Alisa Root from Germany, the international education team, and Movement Board members such as Adam Stern, Thibault Guignés, and Vitomir Maricic.”

Additionally, Molchanovs said that “in protest to the war,” the company is “suspending the sale of gear in Russia and shutting down until further notice.”

While most of the company’s gear is produced outside of Russia, certain products are made inside that country. Consequently, Molchanovs said it would move its investments and production “with the aim of producing over 90% of our gear outside of Russia by the end of the year.”

Molchanovs International has published a blog post that answers a lot more questions regarding how the company operates as an international business, how and where its gear is built and the process behind its education and training system. The full blog post can be read at

John Liang
John Liang
John Liang is the News Editor at He first got the diving bug while in High School in Cairo, Egypt, where he earned his PADI Open Water Diver certification in the Red Sea off the Sinai Peninsula. Since then, John has dived in a volcanic lake in Guatemala, among white-tipped sharks off the Pacific Coast of Costa Rica, and other places including a pool in Las Vegas helping to break the world record for the largest underwater press conference.