Bolsonaro confirms Ribeiro as Banco do Brasil CEO; chairman resigns

Carolina Mandl
·2-min read

By Carolina Mandl 

  SAO PAULO (Reuters) -Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro swore in Fausto Ribeiro as chief executive of Banco do Brasil SA on Thursday, according to a securities filing, just hours after the bank's chairman and a second board member announced their resignations after criticizing Ribeiro's appointment. 

  The swearing in of Ribeiro, who was CEO of the small business unit of Banco do Brasil, marked Bolsonaro's latest political intervention in a state-controlled company. 

  Chairman Helio Magalhaes and fellow board member Jose Guimaraes Monforte, whose board resignations were announced in a securities filing, were among the four members of Banco do Brasil SA's eight-member board who said that Ribeiro was not ready for the job. 

  The four directors said in a publicly issued statement that the board should have the power to appoint its leader. 

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  In his letter of resignation, Magalhaes said he decided to quit because the government has neglected Banco do Brasil and other state-controlled companies. 

  Currently, the far-right Bolsonaro is entitled to nominate Banco do Brasil's chief executive, leaving the bank's board of directors little say, in a deviation from corporate governance best practices. 

  Ribeiro, whose appointment also makes him a board member, replaces Andre Brandao. 

  In their statement, board members Magalhaes, Monforte, Luiz Spinola and Paulo Roberto Evangelista de Lima said that while Ribeiro met the legal requirements to become Banco do Brasil's CEO, he lacks management experience to run the bank. 

  Brandao did not participate in the meeting. He submitted his resignation as CEO in March, two months after Bolsonaro disagreed with cost-cutting measures he had undertaken, such as the closure of some branches and an employee buyout program. 

  Magalhaes, who previously headed the Brazilian units of Citigroup Inc and American Express Co, wrote that the interference in the efficiency program illustrates the government's disrespect for Banco do Brasil's corporate governance, saying it is no longer among the government priorities for the bank. 

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  (Reporting by Carolina Mandl;Editing by Leslie Adler)