New CEO At Braskem

Brazilian petrochemical giant Braskem has announced a succession plan. Carlos Fadigas has been named Bernardo Gradin’s successor at CEO, pending a nod from Braskem’s board next year. A Braskem spokesman says that Carlos will indeed take over during the first quarter of next year. This strikes me as a little curious, Bernardo only took over from Jose Carlos Grubisich, the CEO who built the company, in 2008. Two and a half years is not a long tenure. Bernardo seems to be faithfully executing the board’s strategy of getting bigger at home and abroad. Bernardo is young, 45, so he isn’t retiring. He’s also Wharton School educated. What’s not to like? “The succession plan is prompted by Braskem’s constant improvement of its governance practices, always guided by transparency and respect to shareholders,” the release said. The cryptic use of “improvement” is and “respect to shareholders” are possible clues. But if he is being fired, why wait a number of months? Carlos Fadigas heads Braskem’s U.S. business, and thus is being vested with getting the Sunoco polypropylene integration off the ground. He was Braskem’s CFO between 2007 and 2010. This succession is most probably benign. Bernardo might just be moving on to another job. Though, there aren’t a great many positions in Brazil that would be considered a promotion compared with Braskem. I’m anxious to see where Bernardo lands or if any palace intrigue comes of this. I also wonder if there is a reason why Braskem has appointed a bean counter in his place.

Author: Alex Tullo

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