CFE Appoints New Financial DirectorBy Cas Biekmann | Tue, 08/25/2020 - 08:56
Former CFE Financial Director José Antonio Rojas resigned on Friday, August 21. Edmundo Sánchez has been appointed as his successor, reported El Financiero. The reason behind this is a strategic change in management, reported the state electricity production company.
Specific reasons for Rojas’ departure were not specified by CFE. El Financiero reports that this comes in the midst of a negotiation with the Union of Electrical Workers of the Mexican Republic (SUTERM) regarding a reduction in necessary years of employment for employees to be able to retire.
The new director in charge of corporate finances, Edmundo Sánchez, had been nominated by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador multiple times before for diverse positions, but senators voted against his election. Sánchez was previously in line to become a CRE Commissioner, an independent PEMEX director and an independent member of the Mexican Petroleum Fund. As of now, Sánchez’s appointment still awaits ratification from CFE’s board of directors.
Since last year, Sánchez had been serving as an advisor to CFE’s management regarding financial analysis in the renegotiation of gas pipeline contracts stemming from Peña Nieto’s administration. Sánchez has a strong academic resumé, as well, with a Ph.D. in finance from Harvard University and an MBA from New York’s Columbia University.
This strategic change in management can be interpreted as part of wider speculation regarding government plans for the energy sector. For instance, the government is planning to restart the energy infrastructure plan, which had been put on hold since December 2019, as part of the country’s post-COVID 19 economic reactivation plan. The main focus of the initiative is on infrastructure projects, where the energy sector will also participate. Investment is expected to come from the private sector, with the previous plan considering US$100 billion in investment. Furthermore, the president set up The National Council for the Promotion of Investment, Employment and Economic Growth to prioritize energy sector promotion.
The south of the country, where access to energy is still uncertain at times, is to receive a particular focus. Following the Council’s reform, Minister of Energy Rocio Nahle joins its ranks. Nonetheless, the president did not go into specifics regarding either situation. What is clear, however, is the government’s effort to refocus the energy sector to make better use of its national resources by strengthening the sector’s national heavyweights PEMEX and CFE.