UPDATE 2-Petrobras cuts management, streamlines as it fights graft, oil drop

jueves 28 de enero de 2016 14:21 GYT

(Adds company comment, management plan, cost-cutting detail, oil price, corruption background)

By Jeb Blount and Marta Nogueira

RIO DE JANEIRO Jan 28 (Reuters) - Brazil's Petrobras said on Thursday it will cut about one in five management jobs, streamline operations and boost oversight as the state-led oil company adapts to low oil prices and tries to boost confidence after a corruption scandal.

The measures will save Petrobras, formally known as Petroleo Brasileiro SA, about 1.8 billion reais per year ($442 million), Chief Executive Officer Aldemir Bendine said.

Bendine and Petrobras are struggling with a nearly 50 percent decline in the price of oil in the past eight months, complicating efforts to finance investments and pay down nearly $130 billion in debt, one of the largest of any non-financial company.

"This will involve a very big change in company culture but I'm very satisfied with the model," Bendine told reporters in Rio de Janeiro. "The company will have a less fragmented structure and become a more integrated system."

Management cutbacks are limited to non-operational administrators, including 14 senior executives. They will not, though, involve any actual job cuts.

Petrobras managers, like Brazilian civil servants, are hired through competitive exams and are difficult and expensive to fire. Much of the savings will come as they move to non-management positions and lose salary bonuses given to managers.

Petrobras has 7,500 managers and about 5,300 of them are non-operational executives. The plan aims to eliminate 30 percent of the non-operational management positions.   Continuación...