Brazil Fires Petrobras CEO
Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro has fired Petrobras CEO Roberto Castello Branco, following a clash over the national oil company's decision to raise fuel prices. Bolsonaro has proposed replacing him with a retired general, Joaquim Silva e Luna, according to a post on the president's official Facebook account.
Castello Branco took on the role in January 2019 and would be the second Petrobras leader in three years to exit because of wrangling with the government over fuel pricing, a politically sensitive issue. He has won some praise from investors for pushing ahead with a fast-paced divestment programme, aimed at selling off under-performing assets to raise funds to reduce debt and invest more in core deepwater operations.
Bolsonaro's decision to replace the company head comes as he struggles to boost his popularity, which has come under pressure over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic and the vaccination process.
Silva e Luna, aged 71, served as Brazil's defence minister between February 2018 and January 2019. He has no experience in the oil and gas industry.