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Prokhorov Appoints Russian Woman To Run Nets' Business Affairs

CBS News
CBS News

Irina Pavlova, an officer of Mikhail Prokhorov's Onexim Group, will direct the Nets' business affairs once the Russian billionaire takes over the franchise, say Nets' insiders. She will not control basketball operations.  Pavlova, who is US-based, toured the Nets' offices in East Rutherford Tuesday morning, meeting with groups and individuals. 

The meetings were described by one insider as professional and pleasant.  Pavlova has attended Nets games for the past two months, said another insider.   Her title is reportedly President of the Onexim sports division.  According to documents associated with the Nets' purchase, Prokhorov set up a company, Onexim Sports and Entertainment Holdings USA, last year to hold his interests in the Nets and Barclays Center.  It's not known whether Pavlova will head that company or another Onexim entity. Also, unknown at the this time is her relationship with Brett Yormark, the CEO of the Nets. Several of Onexim's top officers are women, including its chief financial officer.

Pavlova joins a group of 30 and 40-something Russians--and an occasional European or American--who have become increasingly involved in the team's ownership and operations.  Most recently, Andrei Vatutin's name was mentioned as a potential general manager candidate.  Vatutin, a Prokhorov protege, is currently president of CSKA Moscow, which Prokhorov owned for 13 years. Vatutin remained on after  Prokhorov sold the team and has won praise for getting CSKA to its eighth straight Euroleague Final Four this month.