* Agnelli likely to be replaced from within the company
* Gov’t pressure boosts political risk concerns in Brazil
RIO DE JANEIRO, March 27 (Reuters) - Brazilian mining company Vale has pushed out Chief Executive Roger Agnelli under heavy government pressure and is in discussions to replace him with an executive from within, local media reported on Sunday.
President Dilma Rousseff has used the government’s influence as a key Vale VALE5.SA shareholder to insist the company remove Agnelli following years of accusations it was not doing enough to bolster Brazil’s economic development.
The newspaper O Estado de S. Paulo cited an unidentified government source saying company shareholders were close to reaching an agreement on a new leader.
Vale, which generally does not comment on newspaper reports, did not respond to phone calls requesting a comment.
Names currently being discussed for the top job include Jose Carlos Martins, director of marketing, sales and strategy, and Tito Martins, executive director of base metals, Estado reported.
The case has boosted concerns about political risk in Brazil but has done little to reduce investor interest in the company, which is the world’s largest producer of iron ore.
Other media, including O Globo newspaper and online news site iG, have reported that Brazilian bank Bradesco (BBDC4.SA), a key Vale shareholder, has accepted the decision made by the other stockholders to replace Agnelli.
The government cannot directly fire Vale’s CEO, but it holds a majority stake in controlling shareholder Valepar via state pension funds and the state development bank BNDES.