State-owned Petroleos de Venezuela SA (Pdvsa) Pres. Luis Giusti says he will step down from his post on Feb.1, 1999, 1 day before the inauguration of new Venezuelan President Hugo Ch vez Frias and a full year before Giusti completes his third 2-year term at the helm of one of the world's leading oil companies.
Giusti's decision to quit came as no surprise, given that President-elect Ch vez has strongly criticized Pdvsa and announced his intention to revise the company's spending plans (OGJ, Dec. 21, 1998, p. 32).
Ch vez had repeatedly said he planned to fire Giusti and reshape the company's leadership. He also said Pdvsa will be placed under tighter government control because it had become "a state within a state."
Giusti's pledgeOn Dec. 23, Giusti submitted his resignation to outgoing President Rafael Caldera, requesting that he be relieved of his duties as of Feb. 1, 1999.
Giusti, who is widely considered the architect of the so-called oil opening policy that attracted scores of foreign firms to invest in Venezuela's state oil industry, told Caldera he would continue in his post during the transition from the Caldera administration to the Ch vez administration.
"I came to confirm my total and absolute commitment with President Caldera until Feb. 1 1999," said Giusti following his meeting with the outgoing Venezuelan president. "At the same time, I formally request his authorizationellipsethat I be relieved of my responsibilities on that date," he said.
Regarding his resignation, Giusti said, "I believe it is what should be done to allow the new government all the liberty to make the decisions it has to make."
Copyright 1998 Oil & Gas Journal. All Rights Reserved.