Vladimir Kim was born in 1960. He is of Korean ethnicity: his family, among other Koreans and among many other ethnic minorities within the USSR, had been forcibly relocated to Kazakhstan, during the Stalinist era. He graduated from the Kazakh Leading Academy of Architecture and Civil Engineering (then known as the Alma-Ata Architectural Institute) in 1982 with a degree in civil engineering. He holds an MBA degree and received his PhD in Business and administrative management at the John F. Kennedy University in California in 1998.
In 1995, Kim was appointed managing Director and chief executive officer of Zhezkazgantsvetmet JSC, Kazakhmys’ core subsidiary at the time; he was elected chairman of the board of Directors of Zhezkazgantsvetmet in 2000, and Chairman of Kazakhmys PLC upon its listing on the London Stock Exchange in October 2005. Vladimir Kim stepped down as Chairman of Kazakhmys PLC in May 2013 to become a non-executive Director. Following the completion of the Group restructuring in 2014, Mr Kim remained a Non-executive Director and a major shareholder in KAZ Minerals PLC.