Brazil’s Petrobras Gets New Boss

Brazil’s interim President, Michel Temer, has named a new boss for scandal-hit state-run oil firm Petrobras. He is former energy minister Pedro Parente, who replaces existing chief executive Aldemir Bendine to become the third head of the firm in 16 months.

Pedro Parente

Petrobras is at the centre of a massive corruption scandal that has rocked Brazilian politics.

It has said it will cut 12,000 jobs by 2020 as it fights to stay competitive.

Petrobras, which has reported losses for the last two financial years, is expected to spend $1.23bn on implementing the job cuts, which come as part of an investment plan to turn around the company’s fortunes.

Petrobras has long been one of the biggest employers in Brazil, with more than 80,000 employees.

But it is now struggling to cope with the corruption scandal, falls in global oil prices and economic recession in Brazil.

Corrupt deals

The corruption scandal involving price-fixing, bribery and political kickbacks over the last two years has dented confidence in the business. Some former Petrobras executives have been jailed.

Mr Parente served in the administration of former President Fernando Henrique Cardoso, whose PSDB party has been the main opposition force in Brazilian politics for more than a decade.

He told reporters that he had accepted the job on condition that Mr Temer promised not to nominate any political appointees to executive positions.

In the recent past, this practice has led to corrupt overinflated deals that caused financial damage to the company, says the Xul News Daniel Gallas in Sao Paulo.

Mr Temer took over as acting president of Brazil after Dilma Rousseff was suspended from office last week pending an impeachment trial.

Ms Rousseff, who was on the board of Petrobras at the time of the offences, is facing the possibility of impeachment on unrelated charges of false accounting.

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