The man responsible for giving the dry bulk industry the valemax died on Sunday in a Sao Paulo plane crash.
Roger Agnelli, the former head of the Brazil
ian mining giant Vale, has died after his private jet crashed into a residential building in Sao Paulo, local media reported
. He was 56.
Agnelli, his wife and two of his children were among seven killed when his aircraft slammed into the building around 18:20 GMT on Saturday, minutes after taking off from an airport in northern Sao Paulo, an aviation official told Reuters news
Agnelli took over as president and chief executive of Vale in 2001 after nearly 19 years at one of the country’s largest banks, Banco Bradesco, which is a major shareholder in Vale. The company was at the end of a process of privatization that had begun in 1997, though the government retained a stake in the company.
Agnelli was credited with turning Vale into a major global success, making it Brazil’s biggest exporter and the world’s largest iron ore producer.
According to FT, one of the initiatives closest to Agnelli’s heart, though, was Vale’s ambitious plan to build its own fleet of very large ore carriers (VLOCs) known as Valemaxes. A boat enthusiast himself, Agnelli poured more than R$2bn into building ships capable of carrying 400,000 tonnes of iron each, with decks the size of three football pitches.
Designed to reduce the company’s shipping costs and help Vale better compete with its rivals BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto, the Valemaxes were later abandoned after opposition from China.