Corruption scandals at Brazil’s state-run oil company Petrobras have claimed the jobs of the chief executive and five other senior directors.
CEO Maria das Graças Foster has resigned, even though she denies allegations that she knew about the corruption but failed to take any action.
Police say they have uncovered a price-fixing, bribery and political kickback scheme that allegedly benefited the ruling party of President Dilma Rousseff and could have siphoned off the equivalent of as much as 25 billion euros
The government is now scrambling to find replacement executives to restore investor confidence in the company.
“Graça (Foster) was not the biggest problem at the company, but it’s a message,” said João Pedro Brugger, equities analyst at Leme Investimentos in Florianópolis, Brazil. “The company is trying to tell the market that its management will become more professional.”
The corruption case, which looks likely to be the biggest scandal in Brazilian history, reportedly involves several top Petrobras officials as well as the heads of many of Brazil’s main construction companies.