Ferreira to quit as Vibra CEO, move to Eletrobras suggested

 (Reuters) – Brazilian fuel retailer Vibra Energia SA (VBBR3.SA) said on Wednesday that CEO Wilson Ferreira Junior has informed the board of directors he wants to quit the company, amid expectations he might be heading back to power giant Eletrobras (ELET6.SA).

Vibra said in a securities filing that Ferreira’s resignation comes as he wants to “pursue new professional challenges”.

The company added it will start a search for a successor, while Ferreira will retain his position until the date of his official resignation, which will be “duly disclosed to the market”.

Ferreira took over Vibra, formerly known as BR Distribuidora, in early 2021 after leaving his job as chief executive of Eletrobras, then still a state-run company.

Recently his name has been linked to a potential return to Eletrobras, which he led for almost five years starting in 2016, now that the firm was privatized. read more

A source familiar with the matter said on Wednesday his return to Eletrobras was “quite possible” but yet to be formalized. That would only happen after a new board has been voted on, which is expected to happen on August 5.

Eletrobras did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Shares in Vibra rose more than 5% after the announcement, making it one of the top gainers on Brazil’s Bovespa stock index (.BVSP), which was down 0.4%, while Eletrobras was up 1% in midday trading.

Analysts at Credit Suisse said they did not expect any material changes to Vibra’s current business plan after Ferreira’s departure, but viewed the decision as negative for the firm due to his leading role in Vibra’s ongoing expansion towards greener ventures.

Credit Suisse also said in a separate note to clients that Ferreira’s potential move to Eletrobras would be positive for the company.

“In case it is confirmed, market should see it as positive, as he was CEO from 2016-2021 and started the turnaround of the company, so implementation of a new efficiency plan could be faster.”

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