Oi restructuring deal in doubt as CEO quits

Marco Schroeder reportedly at loggerheads with Brazilian telco's board

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Oi CEO Marco Schroeder resigned late last week, casting doubt over the Brazilian telco's prospects of reaching a debt restructuring deal.

Eurico de Jesus Teles Neto has been appointed interim CEO; he will also maintain his current role as Oi's chief legal officer.

In a statement, the company thanked Schroeder "for his complete dedication to Oi during his years working as part of the company's team and during his time as chief executive officer, recognising the contributions and significant results achieved by Oi during his office, in particular with respect to the conduction of the company's judicial reorganisation process."

While there was no official reason given for Schroeder's departure after just 17 months, sources cited by Bloomberg claimed that he was at loggerheads with Oi's board over the telco's debt restructuring, and had grown frustrated with the government's slowness with regards to helping Oi emerge from bankruptcy.

In a resignation letter seen by Bloomberg, Schroeder said recent board meetings had made his exit a necessity.

"Along with Oi's board of directors and management colleagues, in recent months I've experienced great challenges to make the formulation and approval of our judicial recovery process viable," he said.

His departure comes a little over after month after the resignation of Oi's CFO, and will likely prolong the company's struggle to strike a debt restructuring deal with lenders.

Oi filed for bankruptcy protection in June 2016 and has since failed to agree on a recovery plan acceptable both to shareholders and creditors. Brazil's telco watchdog Anatel is reportedly Oi's largest single creditor; the operator is said it to owe it around $3.5 billion in fines.