From The Houston Chronicle

CITGO’s board of directors has appointed former Venezuelan oil executive Carlos Jorda as CEO of the embattled Houston refining company.

In a statement released on Wednesday morning, the company’s board reported that the year-long search for a new CEO ended Jorda being selected for a role.

A fomer executive with the Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., or PDVSA, Jorda also held an executive role with the state-owned oil company’s U.S. subsidiary PDV America and previously served as chairman of the board for CITGO.

“The board was searching for a CEO with a solid professional background in operations and who could guide CITGO during this unprecedented time,” CITGO Chairwoman Luisa Palacios said in a statement. “With his understanding of the company, its shareholder and the geopolitical landscape in which the company operates, we believe that Carlos Jorda is the right person for the job.”

Headquartered in Houston, CITGO is owned by PDVSA. The refining company owns and operates three refineries in the United States with one in Corpus Christi and the others in Louisiana and Illinois.

Jorda’s appointment as CEO comes a time of great political tension between the United States and Venezuela. With the Venezuelan economy in shambles and oil exports plummeting, many in the South American nation are calling for President Nicolas Maduro to step down from power.



Maduro refuses to step down while the United States and several other nations have recognized opposition leader Juan Guaido as Venezuela’s president.

A U.S. federal court gave Guaido control of CITGO, prompting the opposition leader to replace company executives and board members with supporters. One of the new board’s first acts was to fire former CEO Asdrubal Chavez, a cousin of former Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez.

In a Tuesday evening tweet, Guaido listed naming a new CEO of CITGO as one of three action items that his administration was taking.

“Our commitment is to solve the problems of Venezuelans,” Guaido said in a tweet. “Therefore, we stand firm and moving forward.”

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