SAO PAULO — Brazil’s government on Wednesday tapped Jose Mauro Coelho, a high-ranking technocrat with expertise in the nation’s oil and gas sector, as the next chief executive of state-run oil company Petrobras.
The appointment comes amid a hectic several days for Petroleo Brasileiro SA, as the firm is formally known, as well as for the government, which has struggled to fill the company’s top two positions.
Last week, energy consultant Adriano Pires backed out of the government’s nomination for him to take the helm at Petrobras, shortly after soccer magnate Rodolfo Landim declined a nomination for the chairman position.
Coelho, a former deputy at Brazil’s Mines and Energy Ministry, has more than 25 years of professional experience in the oil sector.
He currently serves as the head of Pre-Salt Petroleum, or PPSA, a government agency that receives and markets oil that companies operating in Brazil are required to hand over to the state as a condition of their concessions.
According to his LinkedIn profile, he also served as the secretary of oil, gas and biofuels at the nation’s Mines and Energy Ministry for roughly a year and a half ending in 2021, and served over 12 years at a state agency dedicated to energy research.
Coelho is a relative unknown for investors and many of his specific policy preferences are unclear. However, he defended pegging domestic fuel prices in Brazil to international rates in a television interview last year, newspaper Folha de S.Paulo reported, a key demand of market investors.
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