March 16, 2022

© Celso Pupo / Adobe Stock

© Celso Pupo / Adobe Stock

There is a possibility of replacing Petrobras’ chief executive, Brazil’s President Jair Bolsonaro said on Wednesday, adding further pressure to the state-run oil company’s pricing policy.

In an interview with regional TV channel, Bolsonaro said the possibility of replacing Joaquim Silva e Luna as Petrobras CEO exists, although he added “everyone in the government can be replaced if they are not doing their job at a satisfactory level.”

“So it doesn’t mean that they will be replaced or that they won’t be replaced,” said Bolsonaro.

On Monday, Luna, a retired army general, said he would not leave the company despite facing criticism from Bolsonaro and others over a fuel price hike announced last week.

Bolsonaro appointed him to the job last year after his predecessor, Roberto Castello Branco, was fired due to a disagreement with the president over the company’s pricing policy.

Shares in Petrobras fell as much as 2.3% following Bolsonaro’s statement, but were trading 1% down in late afternoon trading. The Bovespa stock Index rose 1.5%.

Petrobras, formally known as Petroleo Brasileiro SA, did not respond to a Reuters request to comment.

(Reuters – Reporting by Pedro Fonseca and Alexandre Caverni; Writing by Peter Frontini in Sao Paulo; Editing by Chris Reese and Aurora Ellis)

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