Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro’s succession plans for state-owned Petrobras have taken a hit this week. His candidates for both the chairman’s and the CEO’s roles have withdrawn from consideration. With the company’s annual shareholders meeting scheduled for April 13, Bolsonaro has only a week to come up with replacements.
Adriano Pires, head of energy consulting firm Centro Brasileiro de Infraestrutura, had been chosen to take over as CEO upon the planned removal by Bolsonaro of Joaquim Silva e Luna.
Brazil’s Ministry of Mines and Energy posted a letter from Pires on Monday on its website, in which he said: “It was clear to me that I could not reconcile my consulting work with the exercise of Petrobras’ command.”
Pires’ appointment had already been put into question, when Lucas Furtado, deputy prosecutor at Brazil’s federal audit court, asked the court to investigate Pires for a possible conflict of interest related to his 20 years of work as a consultant to multinational oil companies.
On Sunday, Rodolfo Landim, president of Rio de Janeiro soccer team Flamengo – and Bolsonaro’s nominee for chairman of the Petrobras board – decided to decline the nomination after his team lost an important match.
“Despite the size and importance of Petrobras for our country . . . I would like to inform you that I decided to give up this nomination, concentrating all my time and dedication to the even greater strengthening of our Flamengo,” said Landim. “Recent events have shown me the need for all of us to commit to an even greater degree of dedication and focus to the club.”