Petrobras CEO abruptly departs, Magda Chambriard named successor

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Petrobras, the Brazilian oil giant, made a sudden announcement on Tuesday evening, about the departure of Jean Paul Prates from his position as Chief Executive. The company disclosed in a statement that it had received a request from Prates himself for the early termination of his mandate, to be considered by the Board of Directors in a negotiated manner.

For months, Prates had been entangled in a power struggle with Mines and Energy Minister Alexandre Silveira over differing views on Petrobras’s strategic direction. Petrobras’s diverse stakeholder profile, including the federal government and private investors, has led to tensions between the government and minority shareholders, according to an article by the Brazilian Report. 

Magda Chambriard, former head of Brazil’s National Oil Agency from 2012 to 2016 during the Dilma Rousseff administration, has been named as Prates’s successor. This appointment suggests a move toward closer alignment between the government and Petrobras, a development that investors have reacted negatively to.

Prates’s exit comes hot on the heels of the company’s Q1 results, with net profits dwindling to R$23.7 billion (US$4.8 billion), down by 38% year-on-year. Factors such as lower sales volumes, a decline in oil prices, and reductions in diesel margins were cited as contributing to the decline. 

Prates assumed the role of CEO in January last year, following the resignation of the previous CEO, Caio Mário Paes de Andrade. 

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