Senior Petrobras execs may resign on scandal

18 December 2014, News Wires – Senior management at Petrobras may have to resign to avoid further delays of the Brazilian state-run oil company’s audited third-quarter earnings report, chief executive Maria das Gracas Foster said on Wednesday.

Foster said she had spoken to President Dilma Rousseff about the potential resignations, including her own, amid an investigation into an alleged corruption scheme involving the company, contractors and the ruling political coalition.

Maria das Gracas Foster, Petrobras CEO


“The president thought that I should stay,” Foster told journalists. “My aim is to avoid holding up the release of our earnings statement because of the investigation.”

The company, known as Petrobras, delayed the release of its financial statement last month after its auditor, PricewaterhouseCoopers, refused to certify it until the completion of the internal corruption probe.

Prosecutors accuse Petrobras contractors of forming a cartel that overcharged for construction and engineering projects, inflated the value of assets and funneled kickbacks to executives and political parties, raising the prospect of a sharp writedown on the company’s next balance sheet.

Petrobras has also been unable to release unaudited financial results for the period and missed a self-imposed deadline to fix the problem on Friday.

The scandal has led to charges against nearly 40 people, including former Petrobras executives, in Curitiba and Rio de Janeiro. It is also rattling Rousseff’s transition to a second term after her narrow October victory in one of Brazil’s most bitter presidential campaigns in recent history.

Rousseff was chairwoman of the company’s board of directors from 2003 to 2010, when much of the alleged bribery and overcharging took place. She says she had no knowledge of or involvement in the alleged wrongdoing.

– Upstream

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