Less than a month after turning down his invitation to become president of Petrobras, consultant Adriano Pires said, in his first interview after resigning from the position, that he believes that the proposal to take charge of the largest company in Latin America came at the wrong time.
To the Estadão/Broadcast, Grupo Estado’s real-time news system, he revealed that, when he accepted the invitation, he did not imagine that he would have to sell his company. Pires owns the consulting firm Centro Brasileiro de Infraestrutura (CBIE), which has been providing services to several companies in the oil and gas sector for over 20 years.
Most of the companies supported by the CBIE over time do business with Petrobras, which could characterize a conflict of interest. “I had commitments to my employees and I couldn’t walk away from them at that time,” he explained.
Read the main excerpts from the interview below.
What stopped Mr. to take the job after initially accepting the invitation? Was the conflict of interest predictable?
I accepted because I didn’t initially know that, to resolve the conflict of interest, I had to sell my business. What made me decline the invitation were family reasons and the fact that I had to leave or even sell CBIE, which I founded more than 20 years ago. I had appointments with my employees and I couldn’t abandon them at that time.
How was the invitation made? Who did it come from?
The invitation came from the Minister (of Mines and Energy) Bento Albuquerque and, later, had the approval of President Bolsonaro. It was an honor to have been invited to preside over one of the largest oil companies in the world and a certain crowning achievement of my career of more than 30 years studying the energy sector in Brazil and in the world. It was the right call at the wrong time.
Did the episode bring any image problems to your business?
This episode left me a lot of learning and didn’t cause any image problems. We have a very solid relationship with our customers for the service we provide based on transparency and ethics.
Has Bolsonaro’s pressure on fuel prices, which led to the resignation of two Petrobras presidents, had an effect on your decision?
At no time was I asked to control prices. On the contrary, I was given complete freedom to continue with the current pricing policy.
If the invitation had been made at another time, would you have accepted? Was it the wrong time?
Perhaps if the invitation had come at the beginning of the government, it could have made another assessment. Anyway, selling a company that I created with a lot of effort more than 20 years ago was what weighed down the invitation.