Petrobras CEO may resign on Monday as pressure mounts, report says

(Reuters) – The chief executive of Brazilian state-run oil company Petrobras (PETR4.SA), Jose Mauro Coelho, may resign on Monday as he faces mounting pressure from top politicians after a new fuel price hike was announced last week, newspaper O Globo reported.

The report mentioned board members who had spoken with Coelho during the weekend.

Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the company is formally known, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Coelho was appointed by the government in early April, but ousted less than two months later as President Jair Bolsonaro’s administration decided to pick senior economy ministry official Caio Mario Paes de Andrade for Petrobras’ top role. read more

Paes de Andrade, however, can only take over after being elected to Petrobras’ board of directors, so Coelho has been keeping the position for now.

On Friday, after the company announced it would increase gasoline and diesel prices at its refineries, Lower House Speaker Arthur Lira called for Coelho’s resignation, saying his administration was “an act of corporate terrorism” that “systematically works against the Brazilian people.”

Bolsonaro, who faces an uphill re-election bid in October’s election amid high inflation driven by energy prices, said the price hike was a betrayal of the Brazilian people and that he and Lira had talked about opening a congressional investigation into Petrobras’ board of directors. read more

O Globo reported that board members were also calling for Coelho to resign, and that such a decision could halt Lira’s move to start the investigation.

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