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Roberto Castello Branco takes over as CEO of Petrobras


In his inaugural speech, the economist highlighted the topics he considers most strategic for his management

Economist Roberto Castello Branco took office, Jan. 3, as CEO of Petrobras, during a ceremony held at the Noble Hall of the Company’s Headquarters in Rio de Janeiro. At the ceremony, which was attended by several authorities, the CEO stressed that the company’s strategic vision is based on five topics: Portfolio management, capital cost reduction, relentless pursuit of cost reduction, meritocracy, job security, and protection of the environment.

At the beginning of his speech, the CEO noted that his story at the company began when he served as a member of its board, between May 2015 and April 2016. “I found a company in crisis. But with the professional competence and seriousness of its employees and with solid corporate governance, Petrobras is much better today. There is still a lot to do, though,” he said.

Castello Branco emphasized the importance of efficiently exploiting our country’s enormous inventory of natural wealth. “The company’s core competency is in oil exploration and production in large fields in ultra-deep waters. The focus should be on the assets of which Petrobras is the natural owner, those from which it can get the maximum possible return,” he said.

In his speech, the CEO also mentioned the need for the continuity of partnerships. "We will accelerate oil production to make the best possible use of our reserves, and partnerships will be welcomed. We can and have much to learn from others,” he said. To improve results, the new CEO also mentioned that changes in the technology area are important. “It is essential for Petrobras to digitally transform to reduce costs and boost productivity.”

The new CEO says that respect for the safety of people and the environment is of the utmost importance. “Preserving human life is of extraordinary value. It is unacceptable for someone to go to work and never come home. Zero fatality is the priority goal to be pursued with obstinacy,” he said.

Castello Branco concluded his speech highlighting the importance of the company’s technical staff. “A company is made up of people. It is they, co-workers at Petrobras from now on, from those on the offshore platforms to those who toil in the offices of this building, who I summon to dedicate their efforts and talent to transform our company into a global example of operational and financial excellence and one of the best places to work,” he said.

Attending the ceremony were the Minister of Mines and Energy, Bento Albuquerque; the Minister of Finances, Paulo Guedes; the governor of the state of Rio de Janeiro, Wilson Witzel; the director general of the NPA, Décio Oddone; the Chairman-in-Office of the Board of Directors of Petrobras, Jerônimo Antunes, and the director of Exploration & Production, Solange Guedes.

About the CEO
Roberto Castello Branco is Petrobras CEO. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics, with a doctorate from Fundação Getulio Vargas (FGV EPGE) and a postdoctoral degree from University of Chicago. He participated in executive training programs at Sloan School of Management (MIT) and International Institute for Management Development (IMD). He is affiliated professor at EPGE (FGV), also acting as director at Centro de Estudos em Crescimento e Desenvolvimento Econômico in this institution. He was a director at Vale S.A., Banco Central do Brasil, Banco Boavista, Banco Boavista Investimentos and Banco InterAtlântico. He was a member of Petrobras´ Board of Directors between May 2015 and April 2016, GRU Airport and Invepar, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of ABRASCA, Director of the American Chamber of Commerce (RJ) and a member of the Board of Directors of IBEF and Board of Curators of FGV. He was president of the Instituto Brasileiro de Relações com Investidores, executive president of IBMEC and vice president of the Brazil-Canada Chamber of Commerce.

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