Petrobras names new IR head after bribe probe

Feb 09, 2015
<p>Former IRO and CEO among executives who quit after inflated contract controversy</p>

The board of directors at Petrobras, Brazil’s state-owned oil company, has named Ivan de Souza Monteiro as the company’s new CFO and chief IRO, after a major shake-up saw six executives leave the firm last week.

Replacing outgoing executive Almir Barbassa, Monteiro will take over the running of Petrobras’ IR department immediately, and have more extended duties as the company’s CFO. He was formerly vice president of financial management and IR for Banco do Brasil, a position he held since 2009, as well as serving as chairman of the bank’s supervisory board.

The energy company has also announced that, following a majority vote in a board meeting held last week, Aldemir Bendine will take over as CEO after the departure of Maria das Graças Silva Foster. Bendine will also take over Foster’s position on the firm’s board.

Foster resigned as CEO at the beginning of February along with five other Petrobras executives amid allegations of a major corruption scandal. It has been suggested that contractors paid vastly inflated prices for certain goods and services, with the funds obtained being diverted to some Petrobras directors, as well as Brazil’s ruling Workers’ Party and some of its allies. The Brazilian government has dismissed the allegations, adding that it only accepted legal donations.

Though Foster herself was not accused of wrongdoing, she was criticized for ignoring tip-offs about inflated contracts. Over the past few months she has faced repeated calls for her resignation, while Petrobras’ share price has fallen by 70 percent from its peak in September 2013 to reach a five-year low.

A press release on the Petrobras IR website welcomes the new executives to the company, adding that newly elected directors are considered valid ‘until the next general shareholders meeting’.

It continues: ‘Petrobras expresses gratitude to the CEO [and to] Maria das Graças Silva Foster, Almir Barbassa, José Formigli, José Cosenza, José Alcides Santoro Martins and José Antônio de Figueiredo for the technical expertise, professionalism and dedication in the exercise of their duties.’

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