October 5, 2022

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Petro warns Ecopetrol’s board of directors

3 min read

This Tuesday, Gustavo Petro, president-elect of Colombia, sent a controversial message to the direction of Ecopetrol, the largest company in Colombia. The president showed through social networks that he would seek changes in the organization, in the face of the new challenges that he himself has raised in recent months.

I want to produce a consensus, but not bend the popular vote that wants clean energy. “Don’t hold us back. The popular vote is mandatory. The public owner freely chooses its members in the companies that represent it. It is the representation of the people,” Petro assured in response to an article in La República that shows how the company’s corporate governance works and the system of what they call “checks and balances.”

In the article, it is noted that in the corporate governance of Ecopetrol, especially in its board of directors, there is a “system of checks and balances” that seeks to ensure that majority and minority shareholders have guarantees on the management of the company. In addition, they assure that this works to “not generate panic in the stock markets, taking into account that the company’s listing is important for the country.”

However, the path would not be easy considering that the company is governed by a corporate government, which should not respond to particular interests, despite the fact that the majority shareholder is the Nation. Apparently Petro would not agree to keep the current board of directors, so it would seek to make some strategic changes.

And it is that this scenario seems to have been planned, because a few months ago there were some changes in the Ecopetrol shareholders’ meeting, in which it was approved that the board go from having a term of two years to four years. That is to say, during the Petro government the current steering committee would be maintained, fulfilling as such the reform of the statutes.

At this time, the organization’s board of directors is made up of Carlos Gustavo Cano; Sergio Restrepo; Luis Santiago Perdomo Maldonado and Esteban Piedrahita Uribe Luis Guillermo Echeverri, Cecilia María Vélez White; Germán Eduardo Quintero Rojas and Hernando Ramírez Plazas.

Experts consulted detail, in summary, the Nation is the majority shareholder, and has board members, this is not a determining factor for such decisions to be approved. The decisions of the National Government must go through a discussion, as well as a vote.

In the event that Petro seeks to change this system, the president-elect would have to summon a new extraordinary assembly to change the statuses and propose an eventual new board of directors. This, experts say, could be between September or October.

In recent days, he has even assured that he will not allow the company’s fracking pilots, so there is no doubt that there could be a glimpse of a legal dispute between the parties. It is noteworthy that the president-elect has ratified that he will not allow new oil exploration contracts in Colombia, as well as seeking Ecopetrol to be a leading company in renewable energies. Published by Iraic.info, a news and information agency.

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