Auditor that signed off on burst Vale dam appoints new Brazil CEO
German auditing firm TÜV SÜD AG said on Tuesday it appointed a former Petroleo Brasileiro SA executive to head up its Brazilian subsidiary, changing leadership after a dam certified by the firm burst in January and killed hundreds.
João Elek, former governance and compliance officer at Petrobras, became chief executive of the Brazilian subsidiary of TÜV SÜD on April 1. He takes over from interim chief Marcelo Pacheco who will continue to serve as co-CEO.
TÜV SÜD signed off on a Vale SA tailings dam as safe just months before it burst on Jan. 25, releasing a wave of mining waste that killed hundreds.
In February, TÜV SÜD said it would halt providing certifications for Vale's tailings dams. The company has hired two external law firms to look into its auditing practice.
Elek built up Petrobras' compliance team from two people to more than 40 from 2015 to 2018, while heading the company's anti-graft efforts in the wake of Brazil's "Car Wash" corruption scandal that ensnared hundreds of executives and public officials and landed a former president behind bars.
He has also held executive positions at pulpmaker Fibria, AT&T Brasil and Citibank Brasil.
(By Jake Spring; Editing by Susan Thomas)