Petrobras CEO Says No More Political Interference in Oil Company

Petrobras CEO Says No More Political Interference in Oil Company
Petrobras' new CEO Pedro Parente says political interference has ended in the state-run oil producer and that fuel price decisions will now be made according to the company's best interests.

(Bloomberg) - Petroleo Brasileiro SA’s new Chief Executive Officer Pedro Parente said political interference has ended in the state-run oil producer and that fuel price decisions will now be made according to the company’s best interests.

A solution to Petrobras’s debt, the largest in the industry, includes selling part of its assets, he told reporters after his swearing-in ceremony in Brasilia, led by Acting President Michel Temer.

Parente is the best person to lead a recovery at the oil company that is at the center of Brazil’s biggest-ever corruption scandal, Temer said during the event.

Temer said he supports the two-year graft probe known as Carwash that has led to the arrest of former Petrobras executives, business leaders and politicians. Under a scheme that lasted about a decade, a group of suppliers bribed former officials to win contracts with the oil producer. The acting president reiterated Petrobras’s claim that it was a victim of bad practices.

"Everyone expects that you, in some time, will make us proud of our Petrobras again," Temer said at the ceremony, where heads of state banks were also sworn in. "No one will interfere in Carwash."

Parente, who has extensive experience in government and business, was confirmed as CEO by the board of directors on May 30. He will officially assume the post on Thursday in Rio de Janeiro, where Petrobras is based.

Parente was a member of Petrobras’s board for almost four years starting in 1999, and its chairman for nine months, while he was part of former president Fernando Henrique Cardoso’s cabinet. He was also the head of agribusiness giant Bunge Ltd.’s Brazil unit from 2010 to 2014. He is currently the chairman of BM&FBovespa SA, the operator of Latin America’s biggest securities exchange.

- With assistance from Omar Khodr. To contact the reporters on this story: Anna Edgerton in Brasilia at aedgerton@bloomberg.net ;Sabrina Valle in Rio de Janeiro at svalle@bloomberg.net To contact the editors responsible for this story: David Marino at dmarino4@bloomberg.net Walter Brandimarte

Copyright 2016 Bloomberg News.

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