CFO leaves PDVSA board – is this PDVSA Pension Ponzi-related? (updated)

This is getting downright interesting. Eudomario Carruyo has left the board of Venezuelan state oil company PDVSA. The guy is old and weak, and may just be retiring. But it is interesting, as El Universal notes, that his name has come up in the PDVSA Pension Ponzi case. He was apparently in charge of putting a (perhaps fictitious) half-billion dollars of pension money into a Ponzi scheme in Connecticut.

This guy has been famous for years for having a lot of money, which makes him unusual among public-sector workers in Venezuela. His name has appeared from time to time in the financial gossip columns in Caracas in association with scams, but he has always just held on, generally not even offering denials. And I have to say, for my taste, the reporting was always too thin. I never wrote up these situations because they could just as easily have been stories planted by political enemies. I have no idea how good or bad the guy was at his job. The one thing we know is that he screwed the pooch on that pension investment.

UPDATE: here’s the whole roster change from Bloomberg.

PDVSA, as the company is known, removed the head of finance Eudomario Carruyo, internal director of production Luis Pulido, planning director Fadi Kabboul, head of gas Carlos Vallejo and research director Hercilio Rivas, according to a decree in Venezuela’s Official Gazette, which didn’t elaborate on the changes. Director Ricardo Coronado kept his post.

New PDVSA board members are Victor Aular, Jesus Luongo, Orlando Chacin and Ower Manrique, the decree said. PDVSA President and Oil Minister Rafael Ramirez was ratified in his post as were vice presidents Asdrubal Chavez and Eulogio Del Pino. Finance Minister Jorge Giordani and Foreign Minister Nicolas Maduro were added to the board as external directors as well as the head of a pro-Chavez union named Will Rangel.

Noting that Victor Aular has been the de facto CFO for ages, so it may be that he is now taking the full position in replacement of Carruyo. We’ll see. Jesus Luongo is the head of the Paraguaná refinery complex. Wills Rangel is a funny choice, as he is now responsible for assuring the company’s well-being even as he is supposed to represent workers in contract negotiations.

Many thanks to the Devil for alerting me to this news. Click for his clear, concise analysis of the changes.