Citgo gets new president

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appointed Oswaldo Contreras Maza as the new president of Citgo, the Tulsa-based wholly owned subsidiary of state oil corporation Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA).


CARACAS�Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez appointed Oswaldo Contreras Maza as the new president of Citgo, the Tulsa-based wholly owned subsidiary of state oil corporation Petroleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA).

The appointment, which is scheduled to take effect Oct. 15, breaks with tradition under which US executives previously have been named to the post. Contreras Maza, an army general and nuclear engineer who currently is PDVSA�s vice-president, will replace David J. Tippeconnic at the helm of Citgo.

Chavez made the announcement on Sunday during his weekly radio talk show "Hello, President," saying that Contreras Maza had done "an extraordinary job" at PDVSA and "also is going to do a tremendous job" at Citgo.

In an interview published in today's edition of the local newspaper El Nacional, Contreras Maza said he had not yet determined what actions he planned taking as the new Citgo president.

"Citgo business is profitable. Simply, we will have to make some adjustments to improve the company�s performance," Contreras Maza was quoted as saying. "Citgo is going to enter into a process of transition. Removing personnel without first doing a serious analysis is not the most appropriate style for a process of this kind. Firstly, we will analyze the situation to know who should continue and who should leave the company."

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