11/13/2018 – Bloomberg
By Amy Stillman
On the day after Andrés Manuel López Obrador—nicknamed “AMLO”—was elected Mexico’s president, the streets outside the headquarters of Petróleos Mexicanos, the state-owned oil giant, were loud and rowdy in support. Inside the offices there was a morguelike quiet. Instead of shouting, there were whispers: “What are you going to do? Where are you going?”
Since 2015 a major restructuring of the company has trimmed Pemex’s workforce by about 16 percent, pushing many managers into retirement. It may now be facing a further brain drain even as the new president promises to boost oil production, say people familiar with the situation. Some managers and senior staff members have already left, the people say, and others are expected to follow.
Their fear is that they’ll be paid less to do more and that promotions will be stymied by outsiders selected to lead the company, the people say. López Obrador has already named Octavio Romero Oropeza, a political ally with no oil background, to lead Pemex and will help select a new board half-composed of government officials. While Pemex has more than 129,000 employees, the loss of talented senior staff and managers “could cause a lot of disruption and time wasted in learning and inefficiency, the No. 1 problem of the company today,” says Nymia Almeida, senior vice president and lead Pemex analyst for Moody’s Investors Service. When asked about the number of senior staff who’ve left since the election, Pemex said in a statement the information wasn’t available. A spokesman for López Obrador declined to comment.