Press and Media

Press and media

Accident in Brazil – collapse of dam of a retention basin

TÜV SÜD appoints João Elek as Co-CEO of Brazilian operation

Statement 2 April 2019

São Paulo, Brazil. João Elek, a highly experienced Brazilian executive, has been appointed by TÜV SÜD AG (TÜV SÜD) as co-CEO of the company’s Brazilian operation, TÜV SÜD Bureau de Projetos e Consultoria Ltda, effective April 1, 2019. With a track-record of over 35 years in domestic and global organizations, João Elek will primarily help lead TÜV SÜD’s thorough investigation of its own internal processes following the tragic dam collapse in the city of Brumadinho, in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais.


The role of CEO of TÜV SÜD’s Brazilian operation had been temporarily occupied by Marcelo Pacheco, who will continue to oversee the ongoing operations as co-CEO. Prior to joining TÜV SÜD, João Elek was Petrobras’ Chief Governance and Compliance Officer as well as a member of the company’s Independent Investigation Special Committee. Among other top-level roles, he has also served as CFO and Investor Relations Director of Brazilian pulp and paper company Fibria, CEO of AT&T Brazil and CFO of Citibank – Global Consumer Bank (Brazil).


João Elek holds an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering from Pontíficia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio) as well as an MBA from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro (UFRJ). He also participated in Columbia University’s Executive Education Program. Since 2012, João Elek has been a member of the Communications and Capital Market Commission of the Brazilian Institute of Corporate Governance (IBGC).

Dr. Thomas Oberst

Statement 19 February 2019

TÜV SÜD AG (TÜV SÜD) welcomes the Brazilian government’s decisions on 18 February 2019 to reinforce safety in upstream tailing dams and / or to decommission these dams at the latest by 2021. We support the decision that safety standards must be increased and implemented in this transitory time. We believe that this is of paramount importance. However, there is heightened uncertainty as to whether the current system of DCEs (Declaração de Condição de Estabilidade da Barragem) provides a reliable declaration of the status of stability of the dams and can still be considered as appropriate to adequately protect against serious risks, in particular for human life and the environment caused by tailing dams. Considering these safety concerns, TÜV SÜD Bureau de Projectos e Consultoria LTDA has informed Vale that it is not in a position to issue any future DCE’s and reports until a thorough review of the system is completed. TÜV SÜD is offering its full cooperation and expertise to authorities and institutions.


With the support of its own and external experts, TÜV SÜD is investigating internal processes thoroughly, as well as potential root causes for the tragic dam collapse in Brumadinho. It would be absolutely unacceptable for TÜV SÜD if declarations were signed against better judgement. This would go against all the company’s rules and its philosophy.

Press-contact: Dr. Thomas Oberst

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