Brazil's Petrobras Aproves Chambriard as New CEO

Magda Chambriard (Credit: Petrobras)
Magda Chambriard (Credit: Petrobras)

Brazilian state-run oil firm Petrobras said its board of directors on Friday approved the nomination of Magda Chambriard as the company's new chief executive following the surprise announcement last week.

Chambriard, a four-decade industry veteran, has already taken up her new position, Petrobras said in a securities filing.

The incoming chief executive, a former head of oil and gas regulator ANP, was chosen by President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to replace former CEO Jean Paul Prates after he was dismissed last week.

Prates' exit and Chambriard's appointment surprised investors and sent shares plunging amid concerns over political interference.

Chambriard has been tasked by Lula with making the oil giant an engine of job creation and industrial development, taking the firm closer to what it was during Lula's first two terms during 2002-2010.

She will be looking to invest in and breathe fresh life into domestic shipyards, fertilizer plants, refineries, and gas lines, sources previously told Reuters, but could face difficulties navigating new governance rules and outside controls over the firm.

On Tuesday, Mines and Energy Minister Alexandre Silveira sought to allay fears about political interference, stating that Chambriard would execute the firm's $102 billion investment plan for the 2024-2028 period that was already in place.

Chambriard, only the second woman to run the firm after Graça Foster's tenure from 2012 to 2015, has already held meetings informally this week at Petrobras' headquarters in Rio de Janeiro, sources told Reuters.

Chambriard is set to hold her first press conference as CEO on Monday afternoon in Rio de Janeiro.

(Reuters - Reporting by Peter Frontini in Sao Paulo and Fabio Teixeira in Rio de Janeiro; additional reporting by Andre Romani in Sao Paulo; Editing by Gabriel Araujo and Elaine Hardcastle)

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