Experienced government and private sector executive Pedro Parente, 63, was named Thursday to head Brazil’s troubled government-run oil giant Petrobras. He will replace Aldemir Bendine, who served a little more than a year in the post. Petrobras has been rocked by a sweeping corruption investigation. The company has also been hit by steep losses from falling oil prices. Bendine was closely associated with the Workers Party (PT) of Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff, who was impeached earlier this month by the Brazilian Congress. Parente served as Presidential Chief-of-Staff in the 1990s under President Fernando Henrique Cardoso. He was also head of a critical energy policy task force during the Cardoso years. Later, he was CEO of the Brazilian unit of agribusiness giant Bunge. At a news conference Thursday night, Parente pledged to keep Petrobras away from partisan politics. He promised to create permanent company safeguards against corruption while streamlining company operations and paying down some of Petrobras’ massive debt.
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