Global Mining:Vale CEO Ferreira to leave after contract expires in May

VALE CEO Murilo Ferreira
VALE CEO to leave as term expires in May

Murilo Ferreira will step down as chief executive officer of Brazilian miner Vale SA when his term expires on May 26, the company said on Friday, without naming a replacement.

In a statement, Vale thanked Ferreira for his achievements at Vale, the world’s No. 1 iron ore producer.

It listed his efforts to focus on core activities, undertaking the company’s biggest investment project ever and reducing debt. The company did not elaborate on a potential replacement or how it plans to implement a transition.

“With his experience, dedication and respect … Murilo (Ferreira) leaves a legacy for all future generations of executives and employees at Vale,” the statement said.

Preferred shares in Vale, the company’s most traded form of stock, fell 2.4 percent to 30.90 reais in early morning trade in São Paulo. Common shares shed 2.6 percent to 32.30 reais.

Ferreira took the helm at Vale in 2011 in the midst of a high profile political clash between the company and the leftist government of Dilma Rousseff.

Rousseff pressed for the ouster of Roger Agnelli, Ferreira’s predecessor, after accusing Vale of not doing enough to help Brazil’s economy battle the global financial crisis by investing more locally and creating jobs.

Ferreira tried to steer the company clear of government interference or scandal as Vale battled to complete a new mega mine in the Amazon known as S11D just as iron ore prices collapsed. That combination led Vale to report a record net loss of $12.13 billion in 2015.

However, last year saw an improvement in results as the new mine began to ramp up, iron ore prices rose and the company reduced its leverage.

Some analysts had largely supported the continuation of Ferreira in the post, afraid his departure might leave the company open to a political appointment.

(Source: Reuters; Reporting by Guillermo Parra-Bernal and Stephen Eisenhammer Editing by W Simon)

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