In the wake of Brazil's new president Jair Bolsonaro taking office Jan. 1, the personnel shakeup continues at state-controlled Petróleo Brasileiro S.A. - Petrobras, with the Jan. 14 nomination of three new members to its board of directors.
Eduardo Bacellar Leal Ferreira, John Milne Albuquerque Forman and João Cox will replace Luiz Nelson Carvalho, Francisco Petros and Durval José Soledade Santos. Carvalho and Petros resigned from the board Jan. 1, while Soledade Santos announced Jan. 14 that he will step down from his position as of Feb. 4.
Earlier this month, the Petrobras board dismissed Chief Exploration and Production Officer Solange da Silva Guedes, temporarily replacing him with Rafael Salvador Grisolia, who also serves as chief of the financial and investor relations office and the strategy organization and management system.
Chief Technology and Production Development Executive Officer Hugo Repsold Jr. was also let go, with Chief Corporate Affairs Executive Officer Eberaldo de Almeida Neto named as his temporary replacement. Neto also holds the post of chief refining and natural gas executive officer.
Guedes' dismissal will take effect Jan. 20, while Repsold's was effective Jan. 12.
Petrobras' new CEO, Roberto Castello Branco, who was sworn in Jan. 3, has indicated that the company will boost oil production, focus on its core business and exit other sectors.
Amid the executive changes as well as ongoing corruption charges related to Operation Car Wash, a widespread global money laundering operation dating back to 2003 that involved many of its executives, Petrobras continues to focus on slashing its massive debt.
Brazilian Supreme Court Chief Justice Dias Toffoli on Jan. 12 overturned an injunction against the integrated oil and gas major, temporarily allowing the company to resume its divestment program, according to Reuters. The ruling, which reverses a decision from December 2018, will remain in place until Feb. 27, when the case will be heard by the full Supreme Court.
Petrobras had planned to dispose of about $27 billion worth of assets over a five-year time frame to help fund debt repayments, but Brazil's Workers Party filed a lawsuit questioning the company's ability to execute on the sales as planned.