George Logush, 65
#11 Most Influential
George Logush, Kraft Foods’ vice president for Ukraine, Eastern Europe and Central Asia, is an American of Ukrainian descent.
He has brought a lot to his ancestral homeland since he arrived more than 20 years ago – much of it good, but not always.
The 65-year-old New Yorker, who is married with five children, hails from academia rather than the corporate world, with a Ph.D. in econometrics from New York University.
His first job in Ukraine, in 1989, was to help set up the International Management Instituteand the country’s first masters in business administration program.
But Logush soon found himself in business, launching R.J. Reynolds Tobacco (now Japan Tobacco International) in Ukraine, where he increased market share to 60 percent in 18 months.
Now, of course, public health activists are trying to undo this damage by advocating policies to reduce consumption of these deadly, cancer-causing products in heavy-smoking Ukraine.
“I am probably most proud of the team that I have built at Kraft".
– George Logush.
“It was easy back then,” he now recalls.
Logush then moved on to become general manager of KPMG and Barents Group, bringing multinational Interbrew to Ukraine.
It was only in 1995 that he took the helm at Kraft, where he has increased revenues from $4 million to $400 million, taking 12 countries in Eastern Europe and Central Asia under the administration of the Kyiv office as well.
But professor Logush has remained a teacher at heart.
“I am probably most proud of the team that I have built at Kraft. Many employees have gone on to run and set up other companies in Ukraine, to serve on their boards of management as well as in the capacity of Kraft vice presidents in our headquarters,” he told the Kyiv Post.
Logush still sits on the board of directorsof more than one Ukrainian higher education institute.
Logush is equally proud of his philanthropy work with Kraft, including the sponsorship of an open literary competition called Koronatsiya Slova since 1999, resulting in 200 new writers being discovered, including 102 published novels and six films.