Sao Paulo – Caio Mario Pace de Andre, a senior official in Brazil’s economy ministry, will be the next chief executive of the state-owned oil company Petrobras, the government said Monday, replacing a predecessor who had served less than two months.
Paes de Andrade will be replaced by outgoing CEO Jose Mauro Coelho, who was elected head of Brazil’s top oil company in early April, becoming its fourth chief executive in the last two years.
U.S.-educated Paes de Andrade previously advised Economy Minister Paolo Guedes on digital governance, and ran for chief executive role in early April when Coelho was selected.
The Ministry of Mines and Energy announced a change of leadership late Monday, saying in a statement that Brazil was facing extreme instability in the oil and gas market, among other geopolitical challenges.
It did not specify the cause of Coelho’s expulsion or when the new chief would officially take office.
The company must first elect Pace de Andre to its board, as only board members can be appointed CEO, according to company rules.
The change comes just two weeks after President Zaire Bolsonaro replaced his Minister of Mines and Energy, tapping another high-ranking official in the economy ministry for the job.
With fuel prices rising ahead of the October presidential election fueling double-digit inflation, Bolsonaro has protested Petrobras’ billion-dollar gains.
But so far his move to replace Petrobus officials has had little effect on the company’s petrol and diesel pricing policy.
The Brazilian truckers, who crippled the country by striking under Bolsonaro’s predecessor Michel Temer, are the main supporters of the far-right leader. (Reporting by Carolina Police in Mexico City, Gabriel Araujo and Peter Frontini in Sao Paulo; Editing by David Ali’s Garcia, Muralikumar Anantraman and Simon Cameron-Moore)