Since Peter the Great and his “table of ranks“, Russians have a soft spot for pompously named positions, ranks and professions, with a peak under the Soviet regime and its nomenklatura. The 1990’s marked the arrival ofbiznesman (businessman), manager po kliningu (cleaning manager, onceuborshchiza or cleaning lady) and piar (PR manager).
Today, an entrepreneur is never less than general’niy director (CEO) even though the company has a minimum of staff. The short form is gendirectoror gendir for most casual situations. The word “director” is used in state institutions (school, factory, etc.) and in companies where it can basically mean anyone with lesser rank than the gendir.
The menedzher is not necessarily in charge of a team, and more often than not manages only himself. Concerning management positions, the terminology has evolved as follows: Before the revolution, anupravlyayushchiy was a steward in charge of a property, finances or other affairs belonging to a landlord. He was replaced by the upravlyenez under the Soviet regime, meaning a senior manager of a factory or other state institution. The name upravlyenez is still used for positions within the public sector.