The list of high-level resignations at Venezuelan state oil giant Petroleos de Venezuela grew longer last week, with confirmation that David Escojido, the vice-president of project transformation, had resigned. A company spokesman confirmed that Escojido had joined former PDVSA President Roberto Mandini, Vice President of Exploration and Production Juan Szabo and Vice President of Finances Eduardo Blanco who resigned Monday.
The official said it was too early to confirm local press reports that other senior management figures had opted for voluntary retirement following the resignation of respected oilman Mandini and the appointment of Hector Ciavaldini as the new company president
. An announcement is expected in the coming days, he said. "You couldn't say that the majority of the management is going," said the spokesman. "But yes, an important group."
Tensions had been running high within PDVSA as Mandini and a senior management clique had attempted to run PDVSA along profit-orientated principals against pressure from Chavez's left-leaning government.
Mandini attributed his resignation Monday to differences with the government over management issues. An experienced manager with 39-years in the company, free-marketer Mandini was an advocate of expanding PDVSA's market share, encouraging private investment and the gradual lifting of subsidies on the domestic fuel market.