Government-nominated Petrobras chairman bows out

Brazilian oil industry veteran Rodolfo Landim has withdrawn from his government-backed nomination as the next chairman of state-controlled Petrobras just days before a 13 April shareholder vote.

"Despite the size and importance of Petrobras for our country, and the enormous honor for me to hold this position … I decided to give up this nomination, concentrating all my time and dedication for the even greater strengthening of our Flamengo," Landim said in a 3 April note, referring to Rio de Janeiro's Flamengo football team for which he is president.

Landim, a 26-year Petrobras' veteran, was nominated by Brazil's mines and energy ministry in early March. Allegations of fraud connected to his role at Flamengo and potential conflicts of interest had raised questions of whether he could be confirmed in the role.

The mines and energy ministry has acknowledged Landim's decision but has yet to propose another candidate for the chairman role, which is being vacated by Brazilian navy admiral Eduardo Bacellar Leal Ferreira. Petrobras has not said whether the shareholder meeting will be rescheduled.

A vote confirming seasoned technocrat Adriano Pires as Petrobras' new chief executive is also on the agenda of next week's meeting. Picked by President Jair Bolsonaro to replace Joaquim Silva e Luna, Pires' candidacy still requires the approval of Petrobras' personnel committee.

In a 30 March filing with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, Petrobras warned that "a new management team or board of directors may propose changes to our pricing policies, including a decision that such policies may not seek for alignment with international price parity."