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Ecuador Fires 12 State Firms CEOs Amid Bribery Acussations – Bloomberg

  • Head of public companies holding tells executives to resign
  • President Lasso says some officials may have fled the country
Ecuador's President Guillermo Lasso
Ecuador’s President Guillermo Lasso (Kyle Grillot/Bloomberg

Stephan Kueffner, Bloomberg News

EnergiesNet.com 01 20 2023

 Ecuador’s government fired the CEOs of several major state-owned companies, including oil driller Petroecuador, in response to graft allegations published by a local media outlet.  

The heads of key oil, mining and electricity producers were ordered to step down in a letter signed Tuesday by Joaquin Ponce, who heads EMCO, the holding company that controls the nation’s state-owned enterprises. 

The government hasn’t accused the CEOs of any crimes, but is trying to restore public trust with an overhaul of key officials. 

Ponce also ordered an audit of the companies from July 2021, EMCO said via Twitter. President Guillermo Lasso issued a code of ethics to fight corruption soon after taking office in May 2021. 

Lasso ordered police to locate implicated officials, who he said may have already fled the country. The president is currently attending the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. 

Web media outlet La Posta last week said that some officials had used public companies, including the national oil tanker operator FLOPEC, for private benefit. FLOPEC acting CEO Oswaldo Rosero will resign as ordered, a spokeswoman said via text message. 

Ecuador agreed to an audit of Petroecuador, the country’s biggest company, with the International Monetary Fund as part of a funding agreement completed in 2022. However, none of the major auditing companies bid for the contract, and it hasn’t yet gone ahead. 

Petroecuador CEO Hugo Aguiar complied with the order and quit late Tuesday, the company said in a statement. The company said it is committed to fighting graft. 

bloomberg.com 01 19 2023

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