Lula to start out career interviews for Petrobras overhaul, resources say

By Sabrina Valle

(Reuters) – Brazilian President-elect Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva begins interviews this week with candidates to run oil business Petrobras, people familiar with the talks explained, kicking off what may perhaps be a rocky few months for the state-controlled corporation.

Lula, who normally takes place of work on Jan. 1, has now signaled designs for a dramatic overhaul of Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the corporation is formally recognized.

Into the dustbin, in accordance to Lula and his advisers: the company’s privatization. Prepped considering the fact that 2019, the prepare was completely ready to be implemented upcoming 12 months experienced Jair Bolsonaro been reelected, according to some of its makers.

Back on the drawing board: investments in renewable electrical power, refineries, job development and regional economic improvement of the form that made Petrobras an built-in electricity behemoth throughout Lula’s presidency from 2003 to 2010.

To pull off that reboot of Petrobras system, Lula programs for sweeping turnover in the firm’s first- and 2nd-tier administration ranks, explained persons common with his contemplating.

Lula’s changeover workforce didn’t straight away react to a request for remark.

Presented the scale of his ambitions, Lula has tiny time to lose. But technically it could be two to four months right before he can set up a new C-suite, because of to new restrictions.

Firm guidelines will call for at least 45 times for vetting, board approval and a shareholder vote on the board member who will be up coming chief executive. Nonetheless, that most aggressive timeline would demand latest CEO Caio Paes de Andrade to resign on Jan. 1. His phrase technically runs into April.

Andrade, a previous Economic climate Ministry formal with no prior expertise in the oil sector, has provided no indicator so considerably he is ready to do so, according to all those near to him.

Petrobras declined to comment on Andrade’s behalf.

Bolsonaro, who appointed him, has avoided publicly conceding to Lula, his political nemesis, and number of expect him to voluntarily collaborate with the government changeover.

Petrobras management is making ready a 90-slide presentation, 10 from just about every top rated executive like the CEO, for Lula’s changeover staff, as part of the formal handover, in accordance to corporation resources.

Short Checklist

As of final 7 days, Lula had not experienced any direct discussions with candidates for the leading Petrobras task, in accordance to folks common with the matter, even though a short list has taken shape.

That includes Senator Jean Paul Prates, who has not been still invited to the position in spite of obtaining traveled with Lula through private jet to the COP27 local weather summit in Egypt.

Prates was an adviser on strength coverage during the marketing campaign, but his appointment could face compliance obstructions owing to his 2020 Natal mayoral campaign. A presidential decree bars the nomination of a CEO who has operate an electoral marketing campaign in the previous 36 months.

Other candidates in the record include former Bahia Governor Rui Costa, a shut Lula ally, and Magda Chambriard, the previous head of oil and gas regulator ANP, who at the time labored at Petrobras.

William Nozaki, a professor of economics at Sao Paulo college FESPSP named previous week to Lula’s changeover workforce, is beneath thought to direct a non-core division at Petrobras.

Regardless of who receives the CEO work, the Employees Celebration has insisted that management must be aligned with Lula’s ideas for local climate coverage and point out companies as motors of economic progress.

That will involve resuming investments in renewable energies – the biofuel unit and other non oil property have been offered off in current decades to pay back down credit card debt. Underneath Bolsonaro, renewable assignments have been suspended and the firm restricted investments nearly totally to oil creation offshore.

The new approach will carry Petrobras closer to the method adopted by European majors BP PLC and Shell PLC, which are decreasing bets on crude to devote in cleaner power.

Lula’s advisers also say Petrobras ought to steer extra of its profits into investments rather than its generous new dividends. The firm in the previous two quarters compensated more than 2 times the dividend of any European or American oil producer.

(Reporting by Sabrina Valle in Houston Enhancing by Brad Haynes and Nick Zieminski)


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