Brazil wants next Vale CEO to be closer to government

Alexandre Silveira, Brazil’s Minister of Energy and Mines. (Image by Agência Senado, Flickr.)

Brazil expects the next chief executive officer for Vale SA, the world’s second-largest iron ore producer, to have closer relations with officials and regulators even after public scrutiny over government influence on the company’s succession plan roiled a leadership search earlier this year.

The government wants the next CEO to have ties with states, municipalities and regulators, Alexandre Silveira, the country’s mines and energy minister, said in an interview at Bloomberg’s office in Rome.

“This will be a step forward and we’ll demand it very vigorously,” Silveira said.

Vale’s board expects to announce a new CEO by Dec. 3, when the company holds its investors’ day.

In March, Vale announced Eduardo Bartolomeo would retain the top job while the company conducted a search for a successor. The outcome followed weeks of drama over the selection of Vale’s next leader amid mounting pressure from the Brazilian government to intervene in the succession process, putting a spotlight on its influence in the mining sector.

The market has recognized Bartolomeo’s leadership on safety, including a plan to eliminate dozens of high-risk tailings dams. Still, investors have been concerned about operational performance and the perception that Vale could better navigate relations with states and the federal government.

Silveira criticized the delay in Vale’s succession plan, saying that the sooner there is a change in management, the better the mining company will be able to resolve “pending issues with Brazil.” In the interview, he also indicated that the Brazilian government would reject a new proposal presented by Vale, BHP Group and its joint venture Samarco for a final settlement regarding a 2015 deadly dam collapse. Brazil’s attonery’s general office confirmed in a statement.

Brazil’s energy chief is in Rome, where he had a private meeting with Pope Francis Friday to discuss “a fair and inclusive energy transition that helps fight inequality.” Brazil assumed leadership of the Group of 20 in 2024 and will host the COP30 climate summit in 2025.

(By Mariana Durao and Alessandra Migliaccio)


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