June 13, 2018 / 11:09 PM / 4 months ago

Former Petrobras CEO Parente invited to lead Brazil's BRF: source

RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) - Pedro Parente, the former chief executive of state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro (Petrobras), has been invited to take over as CEO of Brazilian food processor BRF SA, a source familiar with the process told Reuters on Wednesday.

FILE PHOTO: Pedro Parente, President of Brazil's state-run oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA (Petrobras), attends a news conference in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Sergio Moraes/File photo

Parente has a six-month non-compete agreement as former Petrobras CEO, the source said, and would need clearance from a government commission to be able to take on the BRF job while that applied.

BRF said: “We do not comment on market rumors.”

Parente left Petrobras on June 1 in a surprise move that followed government alterations to fuel pricing policy in the wake of a truckers strike over rising diesel costs.

He was seen as a key element in turning the oil company around in the last two years and his departure sparked a fall in the price of Petrobras shares.

The source, who asked not to be named because he was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue, said it was likely that Parente would be granted clearance to take the BRF job, since apparently there would be no conflict of interest.

Parente is already chairman at BRF, a post he took in April when shareholders at the food processor were seeking a management overhaul in the wake of a food safety probe that caused plant closures.

BRF shares are down 45 percent so far this year. They fell as much as 6 percent earlier on Wednesday in Sao Paulo, but recovered to close 3 percent down.

Reporting by Rodrigo Viga Gaier, Editing by Rosalba O'Brien

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