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Marcelo Odebrecht Leaves Prison, but Keeps Distance from Company Management

12/20/2017 - 10h27

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FROM SÃO PAULO

Marcelo Odebrecht, the heir to construction firm Odebrecht, was released from his cell at the Federal Police Superintendency in Curitiba on Tuesday (the 19th).

He will be placed on a strict form of house arrest, where he will serve a two-and-a-half-year sentence – an upgrade that had been anticipated in his plea-bargain agreement with federal prosecutors.

During the period in question, Mr. Odebrecht will be allowed to leave his home on two separate occasions, and will be allowed to maintain contact with 15 people. The list of people he chooses will remain confidential, although he will have to present it to the courts and the names of the people will be screened by federal prosecutors.

Despite having been released from prison, it will still be quite hard for Marcelo Odebrecht to exert influence over the company again. Not only does his sentence prohibit him from assuming an executive position (or even from giving management advice), but the company has also undergone several internal modifications.

Mr. Odebrecht is still admired by most at the firm. The discipline he had while he was in prison has even made people proud of him.

However, the decision-making process has changed. Ever since the executive was arrested, one of the most important projects the company committed to was the creation of mechanisms that subject the company's actions to constant scrutiny.

If, for example, Mr. Odebrecht were to take on shareholders in order to consolidate his influence over the board, then he could harm the company's recovery process - or worse, he could affect the outcome of the leniency agreement which will most likely be concluded in January.

The prevailing theory is that Mr. Odebrecht will think over these matters diligently: after all, the Odebrecht approach has always been to prioritize company unity, and not the exertion of power over the company.

Translated by THOMAS MATHEWSON

Read the article in the original language

Eduardo Anizelli/Folhapress
Marcelo Odebrecht, the heir to construction firm Odebrecht, was released from his cell in Curitiba
Marcelo Odebrecht, the heir to construction firm Odebrecht, was released from his cell in Curitiba

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