Brazil’s Eletrobras brings back former CEO Ferreira, elects new chairman

SAO PAULO (Reuters) -The new board of directors of Brazilian power company Eletrobras on Friday chose former CEO Wilson Ferreira Junior to return to the job and elected former Petrobras CEO Ivan Monteiro as chairman of the board of directors, the company said in a statement.

Shareholders also appointed a new board of directors for the newly privatized utility on Friday.

Ferreira will take office by Sept. 20, returning to the position after serving as Eletrobras’ CEO from 2016 to 2021.

Outgoing CEO Rodrigo Limp will stay in the company as regulations head.

Ferreira had left Centrais Eletricas Brasileiras SA, as Eletrobras is formally known, in early 2021, after seeing the company’s privatization bid lose traction, saying at the time that the process had been delayed by the pandemic and stalled in Congress.

The government, however, did manage to privatize Latin America’s largest utility earlier this year in a 33.68 billion-real ($6.5 billion) deal that paved the way for Ferreira’s return to his old job.

The move represents a new beginning for Ferreira, who first took the reins of Eletrobras in 2016, appointed by former President Michel Temer to overlook the privatization process from its first steps.

He retained the position under President Jair Bolsonaro, but left the power giant last year to lead fuel distributor Vibra Energia SA as he felt the privatization bid would not be successful.

Rumors of his return to Eletrobras had circulated since he resigned his position at Vibra last month.

“Markets should see it as positive,” Credit Suisse said last month. “(Ferreira) was CEO from 2016-2021 and started the turnaround of the company, so implementation of a new efficiency plan could be faster.”

(Reporting by Gabriel Araujo; Writing by Gabriel Araujo and Brendan O’Boyle; Editing by Kim Coghill)