Vale SA Chief Executive Murilo Ferreira is grappling with the biggest commodity collapse in a generation and Brazil’s worst ever environmental disaster. But his biggest threat may be political.
Appointed in 2011 as part of a management shakeup driven by President Dilma Rousseff, Ferreira is now in the cross-hairs of some members of acting President Michel Temer’s Democratic Movement Party, said two people with knowledge of the matter. Former Vale executives Tito Martins and Jose Carlos Martins are being touted as replacements, two other people said.
Ferreira’s fate is far from sealed. Temer himself isn’t currently among those calling for his head, and other politicians and executives associated with Vale’s controlling shareholder group want to avoid giving the impression of interfering with the non-state-run iron-ore giant, the first two people said, asking not to be identified because the matter is private.
Valor Economico reported on Thursday a push by some party members for a new CEO, citing people it didn’t identify. Vale’s board hasn’t discussed the matter, the newspaper reported. Vale’s press department in Rio de Janeiro declined a request for comment from Ferreira. The press office of Brazil’s presidency didn’t reply to a request for comment.
The suspension of Rousseff last month, as she faces impeachment proceedings, has spurred a rapid succession of changes from cabinet posts to management of state entities, including oil producer Petrobras, where Ferreira served a brief stint as chairman.
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