Brazilian president moves to replace Petrobras CEO

A spat between Brazil’s president Jair Bolsonaro and Petrobras CEO Roberto Castello Branco has resulted in the government moving to appoint a new CEO to lead the state-run oil giant.

The pair have been clashing over oil price hikes over the past few weeks, culminating in the Brazilian president posting a notice on his Facebook page that the country’s Ministry of Mines and Energy will be appointing Joaquim Silva e Luna to replace Castello Branco.

In a subsequent statement on its website, Petrobras said: “Petrobras informs that it received a letter from the Ministry of Mines and Energy, requesting measures to convene an Extraordinary General Meeting in order to promote the election and replacement of a Board of Directors member, and to appoint Joaquim Silva e Luna to replace Roberto da Cunha Castello Branco.

“The letter also requests Joaquim Silva e Luna to be subsequently evaluated by Petrobras Board of Directors for the position of CEO.”

Silva e Luna is a retired army general with no oil and gas experience.

Castello Branco was appointed CEO of Petrobras in 2019, when Bolsonaro came to power, and had a mandate through to March 20, 2021. He has pursued a strategy of selling non-core assets to reduce the company’s debt, which has been popular with investors.

Grant Rowles

Grant spent nine years at Informa Group based in London, Sydney, Hong Kong and Singapore. He gained strong management experience in publishing, conferences and awards schemes in the shipping and legal areas, working on a number of titles including Lloyd's List. In 2009 Grant joined Seatrade responsible for the commercial development of Seatrade’s Asia products. In 2012, with Sam Chambers, he co-founded Asia Shipping Media.
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