According to the statement, Vale’s board of directors received recommendations on the dismissal of a number of its executives from the Federal Public Prosecution Office and the Public Prosecution Office of the state of Minas Gerais. In light of this, the board of directors held meetings on Friday and Saturday.
"During these discussions, the Board received from the executives Fábio Schvartsman (CEO), Gerd Peter Poppinga (Executive Director of Ferrous and Coal), Lucio Flavio Gallon Cavalli (Head of Planning and Development of Ferrous and Coal) and Silmar Magalhães Silva (Head of Operations of the Southeast Corridor), requests for a temporary removal from office, which were immediately accepted", the statement said on Saturday, adding that Eduardo de Salles Bartolomeo had been appointed as acting CEO.
A tailings dam at Vale's Corrego do Feijao mine in the state’s Brumadinho municipality collapsed on 25 January, triggering a flood of toxic sludge. According to the latest data, the death toll has reached 183 people, with at least 122 still missing.
In late 2015, a tailings dam collapsed at a mine managed by Samarco, Vale's joint venture with BHP, killing 19 people and inflicting enormous damage on the region's environment.