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Ecopetrol new CEO, former finance Minister Echeverry

Juan Carlos Echeverry, former finance minister with close ties to the government, was elected as the new chief executive of Ecopetrol.

BOGOTA 03 06 2015

The board of state-controlled Ecopetrol SA named former Finance Minister Juan Carlos Echeverry to be the next Chief Executive Officer of Colombia's largest oil producer, the company said in a statement Thursday evening in Bogota.

Echeverry, who served as Finance Minister between 2010 and 2012 during the first term of President Juan Manuel Santos, will take office April 6, replacing outgoing CEO Javier Gutierrez. Echeverry is a New York University-trained economist who once worked as teaching assistant to former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke.

Ecopetrol posted a loss of 844 billion pesos ($331 million) for the last three months of 2014, the company's worst quarterly result since shares began trading in 2007 as it struggled with rising costs and a decline in crude output and prices.

Average output in the fourth quarter was 765,100 barrels of oil equivalent a day, down 1.8 percent from a year earlier. Crude prices have fallen about 50 percent over the past year amid surging production from U.S. shale fields.

“Low prices will continue to affect financial results in 2015, although without threatening the strength and sustainability of the company,´´ outgoing Chief Executive Officer Javier Gutierrez said in the March 2 statement.


Story by Andrew Willis and Oscar Medina of Bloomberg; Editors responsible for this story: James Attwood, Matthew Bristow .| 03 05 2015

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