Petrobras CEO resigns over fuel price row with govt
The CEO of Brazil's Petrobras has resigned after just over two months in the role, the national oil company reported on June 20, amid an ongoing spat with the government over fuel price policy.
CEO Jose Mauro Coelho has resigned, Petrobras said, without disclosing a reason. It issued a second statement later in the day saying that Petrobras' upstream head Fernando Borges had been appointed by the board as interim CEO until a new boss is elected by shareholders.
The Brazilian government, Petrobras' majority owner, announced it would remove Coelho in late May, proposing senior economy ministry official Caio Mario Paes de Andrade to fill his place. But Paes de Andrade can only do so after being elected to Petrobras' board of directors.
Borges will become Petrobras' fourth CEO since Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro took office in 2019. Roberto Castello Branco was fired from the role in February 2021, and was replaced by Joaquim Silva e Luna, who in turn was ousted in March 2022.
Each departure has been linked with tensions between Petrobras and the government over fuel pricing policy, a politically sensitive topic in Brazil. Petrobras bases its domestic fuel prices on international rates, which have soared as a result of the global energy crunch and in the wake of Russia's invasion of Ukraine. Bolsonaro has fought back against these price hikes, however, as he grapples with waning popularity ahead of presidential elections this October.