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Petrobras CEO Resigns Amid Brazilian Oil Price Protests

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Petrobras CEO Resigns Amid Brazilian Oil Price Protests

Petroleo Brasil ADR (NYSE: PBR), commonly known as Petrobras, plunged 13.5 percent Friday on news that CEO Pedro Parente resigned.

“My presence as CEO has stopped being positive,” Parente wrote in his resignation letter.

The announcement followed a morning meeting between the executive of the state-run oil company and the Brazilian president. The stock was halted shortly after 10 a.m. ET on Brazil's Sao Paulo exchange.

Why It’s Important

The company had been suffering a truckers’ strike over rising fuel prices that eventually halted the economy and catalyzed political unrest. As the truckers’ strike winded down, oil workers unions began a three-day strike of their own to demand lower fuel prices and Parente’s dismissal.

The country’s labor court had declared the strike illegal, and workers had begun to abandon the fight on Thursday, but the protesters nonetheless received their demands.

Experts on Twitter called Parente’s resignation a “huge blow to shareholders.”

What’s Next

Petrobras said in a statement that the board will select an interim CEO Friday.

Petrobas shares on the NYSE traded around $10.15 at time of publication, down 14.4 percent.

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Image credit: Diego Baravelli [CC BY-SA 4.0], from Wikimedia Commons

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