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Brazil’s Oi replaces CEO

Francisco Valim is no longer the chief executive officer of Brazilian telecom operator Oi. The ousting of Valim was confirmed Tuesday (January 22) after rumors during the weekend.

Valim will be replaced temporarily by chairman José Mauro Mettrau Carneiro da Cunha, Oi said in a securities filing. José Augusto da Gama Figueira will substitute for Cunha on the board. Oi did not say when Carneiro will take charge as CEO.

Following the announcement, Oi’s preferred shares (OIBR4) opened Tuesday down 6.9%.

Valim became CEO in June 2011 and assumed the position in August 2011, replacing Luiz Eduardo Falco.

According to local news, Valim was facing difficulties with the Portugal Telecom (PT) Technological Committee (Comitê Tecnológico), led by Zeinal Bava, CEO of PT. The dispute would be linked to the fact that PT required Oi to be more aggressive in order to gain national market share.

Currently, Oi is number 4 in the mobile market. According to the latest report from Brazilian telecom agency Anatel at the end of 2012 Telefónica’s Vivo was still the market leader, holding a 29.08% share, followed by TIM with 26.87%; América Móvil’s Claro (24.95%); Oi (18.81%); CTBC (0.18%); Sercomtel (0.03%); the MVNO Porto Seguro (0%, but 8,300 access) and for the first time, NII Holdings’ Nextel was ranked.

In the third quarter, Oi managed to increase revenue from a year earlier for the first time in two years.

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