By Brad Haynes
SAO PAULO Dec 5 The head of defense for
Brazilian planemaker Embraer SA will leave the
company at the beginning of next year, the company said on
Thursday, after restructuring the division and raising
compliance standards amid a bribery investigation.
Luiz Carlos Aguiar will step down after 10 years at Embraer,
passing the reins at the defense division to Jackson Schneider,
currently the head of human resources and institutional
relations at Embraer, the company said. Reuters reported
Aguiar's departure plans earlier in the day, citing a source
with direct knowledge of the matter.
Aguiar took over Embraer's defense unit at the beginning of
2011, more than a year after a $92 million deal with the armed
forces of the Dominican Republic that triggered a corruption
investigation by U.S. and Brazilian authorities.
The investigation, which the U.S. Department of Justice and
the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission launched under the
Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in 2010, has expanded to involve
other countries and prompted internal scrutiny of Embraer's
Brazilian prosecutors have also begun a criminal probe of
the executives involved. Aguiar has not been questioned in the
investigation, said the source, who declined to be named given
the sensitivity of the matter.
In a statement, Embraer said Aguiar's departure will be
effective Feb. 28, 2014. Between Jan. 1 and that day, the
executive will work with Schneider on a transition, the
Schneider joined Embraer from Mercedes Benz in 2011 after a
career that started in public service. He has been president of
national automakers' association Anfavea and a member of the
finance ministry's taxpayer council.
He will take over the defense unit, Embraer's
fastest-growing division, as the government is set to become an
even bigger client for the world's No.3 commercial plane maker.
Next year, Brazil's Air Force is expected to sign a firm
order for the first of Embraer's KC-390 military cargo jets
after investing $2 billion on development of a transport plane
to take on Lockheed Martin's Hercules airlifter.
In a separate move also announced in the statement, Ernest
Joseph Edwards, senior vice president in charge of Embraer's
executive aviation, will leave his position on Dec. 31. The
company named Marco Tulio Pellegrini to replace Edwards, the