Petrobras Management Quits, Race On To Find Replacements

Petrobras Management Quits, Race On To Find Replacements
The CEO and other senior management at Petrobras resign amid a festering corruption scandal, unleashing a scramble to find replacements capable of restoring investor confidence in the company.


RIO DE JANEIRO, Feb 4 (Reuters) - The chief executive and other senior management at Brazil's Petrobras resigned on Wednesday amid a festering corruption scandal, unleashing a scramble to find replacements capable of restoring investor confidence in the state-run oil company.

The firm's board of directors will meet on Friday to elect a new management team to replace CEO Maria das Graças Foster and five other senior executives, Petrobras said in a securities filing.

Petrobras shares rose more than 6 percent in early trading in Sao Paulo on the news before paring gains to trade about 1 percent higher near mid-day. The stock rose more than 15 percent on Tuesday - its biggest one-day gain in 16 years - helped by reports that President Dilma Rousseff had decided to dismiss Foster by the end of the month.

The timing of the resignations came as a surprise to the Rousseff administration, which was hoping for more time to find potential replacements, a government source told Reuters on condition of anonymity.

Rousseff had already asked Finance Minister Joaquim Levy, a University of Chicago-trained economist, to help sound out potential candidates for a new Petrobras leadership team, another government source told Reuters on Tuesday.

Investors have been betting that new leadership will help restore credibility to the scandal-tainted firm and ramp up production and boost profit.

"Graça (Foster) was not the biggest problem at the company, but it's a message," said João Pedro Brugger, equities analyst at Leme Investimentos in Florianópolis, Brazil. "The company is trying to tell the market that its management will become more professional."


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CadillacTears | Feb. 4, 2015
Cant help but notice the last names of all the players mentioned in the article; Foster, Rousseff, Levy & Brugger? Sounds like a NY law firm, not a Brazilian oil company!

mikestanovich | Feb. 4, 2015
Can you spell "Privatization "??? You cannot have a government-owned entity like Petrobras in the most corrupt country on the planet. The Brazilian people would benefit from better fuel prices and competition, instead of having the bloated job creating, monster of an inefficient government run sloth Petrobras has become....

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