Mar 17, 2022 - Economy & Business

Koch to continue operating in Russia

a photo of Koch Industries headquarters

Photo: Larry W. Smith/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Koch Industries will continue operating in Russia amid the country's invasion of Ukraine, the company’s president and chief operating officer said in a statement Thursday.

Driving the news: Koch’s Guardian Industries runs two manufacturing plants with roughly 600 employees. Ceasing operations would “hand over these manufacturing facilities to the Russian government so it can operate and benefit from them,” according to the statement from Dave Robertson.

The big picture: Since Russian President Vladmir Putin ordered the invasion of Ukraine last month, more than 400 companies have pulled out or scaled back their operations in the country, according to a running tally by Yale management professor Jeffrey Sonnenfeld and his team.

But, but, but: Robertson said if Koch followed suit, it would put the company's employees “at greater risk” than continuing business.

  • In addition to the 600 employees at the two manufacturing plants, Koch has 15 other employees in Russia.
  • Robertson stated Koch has given financial assistance to Ukrainian employees.
  • “The health, safety and wellbeing of all employees is our top priority, including our employees in Ukraine, Russia, and thousands more across Europe at various Koch companies," he said. "Since the conflict started, Koch has provided financial assistance to employees and their families from Ukraine and humanitarian aid to those affected in neighboring countries, and we will continue to do so.”

The bottom line: In announcing the plans, the company says it’s complying with all sanctions, laws and other regulations in its business within Russia.

Go deeper: Which global companies are abandoning Russia, and why

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to show that Koch Industries has given financial assistance to Ukrainian employees, not Russian employees.

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