Gennady Timchenko spent 6 years of his childhood (from 1959-1965) in the German Democratic Republic and in Ukraine.
In 1976 he graduated from the Mechanical Institute of St. Petersburg, then named Leningrad, as an electrical engineer, according to a 2008 interview with the Wall Street Journal.
In 1977, Timchenko started to work as an engineer for the Izhorsky plant near St. Petersburg. Since he spoke German, he was then moved to the trade department of this state-owned company.
From 1982 to 1988 he worked as a senior engineer of the Ministry of Foreign Trade.
In 1988, he was promoted to Deputy Director of state-owned oil company Kirishineftekhimexport. Timchenko’s teams set up some first export routes of oil products from the USSR to Western countries and Timchenko became one of the leading figures of the Russian oil trading industry.
In 1991, Timchenko decided to leave Russia and was hired by a Finland-based company, Urals Finland Oy(International Petroleum Products Oy (IPP) since 1995), specializing in importing Russian oil to Europe.
In 1995, Timchenko became first deputy and then CEO of IPP OY.
In 1997, he co-founded the global commodity trading company Gunvor with Swedish businessman Torbjörn Törnqvist. He sold Törnqvist his stake in March 2014 a day before the US sanctions.
In 2007, Timchenko founded the Volga Group (Volga Resources Group) private investment fund. Volga group holds his Russian and international assets in the energy, transport, infrastructure, financial services and consumer sectors.
In 2009, Timchenko became one of the main shareholders of NOVATEK, Russia’s largest independent natural gas producer.
Gennady Timchenko supports President Putin's foreign and domestic policy. In March 2014, following the Crimean status referendum, the U.S. Treasury put Timchenko on a list of individuals sanctioned as “members of the Russian leadership’s inner circle.” The sanctions freeze any assets he holds in the US and ban him from entering the United States.
'Western media present events in Russia in a thoroughly negative light. Yes, we have problems, and these need to be covered. But the fact remains that there is a propaganda campaign being waged against Russia. And this is disturbing'.
'I have never concealed my dual citizenship. People involved in state business should probably declare their dual citizenship if they have it'.
'China is an area where we need to be present. Lots of companies want to supply their products to China'.
Mr. Timchenko has a strong interest in philanthropy and has founded a number of charitable foundations: Timchenko Foundation, which consolidates all of the family’s programmes into one portfolio that focuses on supporting elderly people, sports, culture and foster families, Kluch charitable foundation, which develops professional foster homes in Russia, Neva Foundation, which seeks to create stronger ties between Russia and Switzerland through cultural exchange, medical and scientific research.
He is married to Elena with three children. His family resides in Geneva, Switzerland.