1984 to 1990 – Head of the Unit, Central Geophysical Expedition of the Ministry of the Oil and Gas Industry of the Soviet Union
1990 to 1992 – Director of Commerce, JV “Intermicro” (Moscow city)
1992 to 1997 – Founder and executive director of IBS
1997 to 2012 – CEO and Chairman of the Board of the IBS Holding
2012 to 2020 — Strategic management of IBS
2020 – Withdrawal from IBS, creation of the GS-Invest holding
Education and the first job
Sergey Matsotsky is a born Muscovite, born on February 25, 1962. He got interested in software programming as early as his school days. The specialized school No. 444 was the first in the USSR ever to train software programmers. “In high school, we wrote some programs on punched cards. We dreamed of writing a software set for the card game of preference”, recalls Matsotsky.
After school, he entered the Moscow Institute of the Petrochemical and Gas Industry for a degree in Applied Mathematics. After graduating from that university, he immediately started a job working along the same business line – a system software engineer (programmer) in the USSR Minneftegazprom (the Ministry of the Oil and Gas Industry). He headed a division of the Central Geophysical Expedition there later on. “The unit was called “expedition”, but in fact it was a giant computing center. What is geophysics? – it is actually computer accounting”, says Sergey Matsotsky.
From the Ministry into business
While the oil and gas industry was actively developing in the 1980s, Matsotsky took part in some large projects, including international ones – some with India, Malaysia and other countries. With the beginning of the “Age of Change” of the late 80s, stagnation began in the state-owned entities. Many employees started moving to the newly established commercial companies.
Sergey Matsotsky went on to join the Intermikro joint venture in 1990 along the same trend. As head of the commercial department, he gained his first experience in business there. The company was dealing in publishing systems and the Kommersant daily newspaper became one of their first customers.
At the end of 1992, Matsotsky became an entrepreneur himself – he established the Information Business Systems (IBS) Company with a partner, which later became the largest system integrator and it is still in the market.
Matsotsky at IBS
Initially, Sergei Matsotsky, whose professional career has been associated with IBS and its projects for 27 years, held the position of an Executive Director. Then, since 1997, he was appointed General Director and Chairman of the Board of the Holding company. In 2012, he moved away from the operational management, focusing on the business development strategy. Later on in 2020, he left the business, while giving priority to the new projects of his own.
In the late 1990s, the company successfully managed to attract large international investments, and in 2005 went public generating an additional $113 million.
“In the 2000s, the country’s economy grew rapidly. People began to realize that information technology, while not being a great thing in itself, could be very useful for the businesses. We started learning how to use the IT to manage finances, supplies, supply chains, procurement and marketing. The whole thing was very interesting,” says Sergey Matsotsky.
The first decade of the new century was an eventful one for the IBS. One of the companies within the holding, the DEPO Computers, launched its own production of computers in 2002. The business was later sold to its top management. At the same time, IBS was successfully developing on the international markets: the Luxoft, a division for corporate software development, started working for global corporations. The company’s customers were Deutsche Bank, the US Department of Energy, Boeing, the IBM. The business was sold in 2019 for $2 billion.
In 2020, Sergey Matsotsky (Wikipedia) left the IBS business and its management to pursue his own projects within the GS-Invest Holding, a new company of his own. He believes that the time of big slow bulky companies is over. What is really needed is small flexible teams that can operate quickly and with the maximum concentration of resources along the same business line.
“All the companies within the GS-Invest are very different. In addition to specializing in various services and technologies, there are different corporate cultures and values, and different leadership styles. It is simply impossible to combine them into one living entity. And this is good: they are successful in their original form, as they exist now”, Matsotsky believes.
Matsotsky’smanagement philosophy is partnerships with the top management of his companies. He is often giving advice, but he does not impose instructions and does not insist on any decisions. At the same time, the founder of all those companies shows vivid interest in projects and likes to be creative with the team.
In addition to IT,Matsotsky’spassion is travel. The entrepreneur has visited a total of 91 countries and is not going to stop. His wish list includes the Maghreb in Morocco, Petra in Jordan, Socotra Island in the Red Sea, Madagascar and Northern Australia.
Sergei Matsotsky admits that he does not like business books. “They are boring to me. It is probably not fashionable to say that. However, usually you catch the main idea of the book from the first pages, and then it repeats constantly. I don’t see the point in wasting time on this”, says Matsotsky.
At the same time, he loves fiction, for example, historical novels, modern prose, and classics