Head of the Banco do Brasil Aldemir Bendine is set to head Petrobras
Paulo - AFP
Brazilian banking executive Aldemir Bendine, the head of state-controlled Banco do Brasil, will be the new chief executive of scandal-hit oil giant Petrobras, media reports said Friday.
Petrobras, Brazil's largest company, has been thrown into crisis by allegations that executives colluded with construction firms to steal $4 billion from the oil giant's coffers, with some of the cash being paid out in bribes to politicians including members of President Dilma Rousseff's coalition.
Neither the company nor the government confirmed the naming of a new CEO, which will only be officially announced after markets close around 5:30 pm (1930 GMT).
Petrobras shares fell around 7 percent on the Sao Paulo stock exchange after the reports, as investors registered disappointment that the post would apparently not go to an apolitical, technical expert.
Bendine, 51, has said he is not affiliated with any political party, but he is seen as close to Rousseff's Workers' Party.
He has spent 32 years at Banco do Brasil, the largest bank in Latin America, where he was named chief executive five years ago.
Petrobras's board opened a meeting Friday morning in Sao Paulo to choose a new chief executive and five directors after CEO Graca Foster resigned Wednesday as a result of the graft allegations along with her entire board of directors.
The scandal has spread dangerously close to Rousseff, who was sworn in for a second four-year term on January 1.
On Thursday the treasurer of the Workers' Party, Joao Vaccari Neto, was detained for questioning in the graft probe before being released after several hours.