Will Petrobras’ new CEO manage to run the company in the middle of a corruption scandal?

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In light of recent corruption scandals including allegations of price-fixing, bribery and kickbacks that hit Petrobras, Maria Das Gracas Silva Foster resigned as CEO of the company on Wednesday last week.

Petrobras’ Board of Directors elected Aldemir Bendine, Chief Executive of Banco do Brasil, to succeed Ms Gracas Foster as new CEO. Ms Foster, 61, led the company since 2012, and was the first woman in the world to be appointed as CEO of an international oil and gas company.

Following the announcement of the new CEO on Friday, Petrobras’ shares fell over 9%. It seems investors were disappointed by the Board’s selection of Mr Bendine, but why?

Mr Bendine, 51, has no background in the oil and gas industry and no technical expertise. Experts wonder if he can run Brazil’s oil and gas major in the middle of a huge corruption scandal.

The WSJ reports that Joao Pedro Brugger, a portfolio manager at Leme Investments in Florianopolis said “You took out a technical name that was Graca Foster, who despite the problems, knew the [oil] sector, and put in a person who, despite the good results of the Banco do Brasil, is not an expert in the oil sector”.

However, Mr Bendine is seen to have 2 fundamental characteristics to lead Petrobras:

  • He has the trust of President Dilma Rousseff
  • He can restore investor confidence thanks to his financial expertise

Mr Bendine has more than 30 years of experience in the banking industry. Here are some key facts of his career history:

  • He joined Banco do Brasil as an intern in 1978 and became Chief Executive Officer in 2009.
  • Before being appointed CEO, he has held numerous roles including Branch Manager, Assistant Superintended, Executive Manager of the Directory of Retail and Vice Preside of New Business, Cards and Retail.
  • He became a member of the Executive Board in 2006.
  • Mr Bendine holds a bachelor degree in Business Management from Faculdade de Ciencias Contabeis de Itapetininga (FCCI), and has a MBA degree from Pontificia Universidade Catolica do Rio de Janeiro.

Will Mr Bendine solve Petrobras’ problems? Will he restore investor confidence in the company? Let us know your thoughts below.

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