Roberto Castello Branco may have gone out of fashion at Petrobras after recently being ousted as chief executive by Brazil's President Jair Bolsonaro.

But the outgoing boss of the state-controlled oil giant appears determined to go out in style — albeit very casual style — if his appearance late last week in a company webinar is anything to go by.


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In a conference call to discuss the company’s 2020 full-year results — his last last before his two-year term expires on 20 March — Castello Branco opted for a T-shirt bearing the hallmark logo and phrase, "Mind The Gap", of the London Underground.

Popularly associated with the UK capital's underground train network to warn rail passengers of the often considerable space between the train door and the station platform, the expression has also been used by Petrobras since September 2019 as part of its transformational agenda to eliminate the gap that separates it from the best oil companies in the world.

However, some could argue that Castello Branco’s decision to highlight the phrase was actually a subliminal message to address the hot topic of Petrobras’ fuel-pricing policy, which led to his eventual demise.

Petrobras raised fuel prices four times this year so far in an attempt to narrow the gap between its crude derivatives and oil rates in international markets.

With oil prices on the rise again and at their highest level in more than a year, it looks like Bolsonaro should pay attention to Castello Branco’s choice of clothing — whether or not the message was intentional.