Marcelo Odebrecht

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Marcelo Odebrecht
Marcelo Bahia Odebrecht.jpg
Odebrecht in 2009
Born Marcelo Bahia Odebrecht
(1968-10-18) 18 October 1968 (age 49)
Salvador, Brazil
Nationality Brazilian
Alma mater Universidade Federal da Bahia
Occupation Businessman
Known for 19-year prison sentence for corruption, later reduced to 10
Title Former chairman and CEO, Odebrecht
Term 2008–2015
Successor Newton de Souza
Parent(s) Emílio Odebrecht and Regina Odebrecht
Relatives Norberto Odebrecht (grandfather)

Marcelo Bahia Odebrecht (Brazilian Portuguese: [maʁˈsɛlw baˈjɐ odɛˈbɾɛ(t͡)ʃ]; born 18 October 1968) is a Brazilian businessman, the former CEO of Odebrecht, a diversified Brazilian conglomerate, which is Latin America's largest construction company. In March 2016, he was sentenced to 19 years in prison for paying more than $30 million in bribes. The jail sentence has been reduced to 10 years in prison in December 2016 for paying a fine, admitting guilt and providing evidence to authorities.[1]

Early life

He was born in October 1968,[2] the son of Emílio Odebrecht and Regina Bahia,[3] and the grandson of Norberto Odebrecht, the company's founder.[4] They trace their descent from a family of German immigrants to Brazil in the 1850s.[4]

Odebrecht received a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Universidade Federal da Bahia (UFBA).


He joined Odebrecht in 1992, and was appointed CEO in 2008.[5]

He became vice president of the Brazilian Association of Infra-Structure and Primary Industry (ABDIB) in 2005, and vice president of COINFRA, FIESP in 2004. He is chairman of Odebrecht Óleo E Gás, Odebrecht Realizações Imobiliárias, Foz Do Brasil and Eth Bioenergia S.A. He is chairman of Braskem S.A. He serves is a director of the Exterior Commerce Chamber CONEX since 2005, a member of the strategic superior board of Federação das Indústrias do Estado de São Paulo (FIESP) since 2008 and a director of the Industry Development Study Institute, IEDI since 2003.

On 19 June 2015, he was arrested as part of a major investigation, Operation Car Wash (Portuguese: Operação Lava Jato), into corruption at the state-owned oil company Petrobras.[6] Otávio Azevedo, CEO of Andrade Gutierrez, Brazil's second largest construction firm, was also arrested, along with a total of ten others, including senior Odebrecht executives.[7] On 8 March 2016, he was sentenced to 19 years in prison, after being convicted of paying more than $30 million in bribes.[8][9]

In 5 November 2017, Marcelo Odebrecht, his father and his brother were named in the Paradise Papers, a set of confidential electronic documents relating to offshore investment, and was revealed that his company used at least one offshore company as a vehicle for the payment of bribes in the Operation Car Wash.[10]

In December 2017 he was released from jail on house arrest. This was part of a leniency deal in which he is paying a $2 billion fine, admitting guilt and providing evidence to authorities.[1]

Personal life

He and his wife, Isabela, have three daughters: Rafa, Gabi and Mari.[3]


  1. ^ a b "Billionaire Odebrecht in Brazil scandal released to house arrest". Reuters. Retrieved 8 April 2018. 
  2. ^ "Odebrecht Services Limited". Endole. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  3. ^ a b "Tribute to Marcelo Odebrecht in Miami". Odebrechtonline. Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Lewis, Jeffery T (19 June 2015). "With Arrest of Marcelo Odebrecht, Brazil's Corruption Probe Moves to the Penthouse". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 20 June 2015.  (subscription required)
  5. ^ "Interview with Marcelo Odebrecht". PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC). Retrieved 20 June 2015. 
  6. ^ "Petrobras scandal: Top construction bosses arrested in Brazil". BBC. 19 June 2015. Retrieved 19 June 2015. 
  7. ^ Kiernan, Paul (23 June 2015). "S&P Downgrades Debt of Odebrecht Construction Unit Following Arrests". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 24 June 2015.  (subscription required)
  8. ^ Fonseca, Pedro (8 March 2016). "Former Odebrecht CEO sentenced in Brazil kickback case". Reuters. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  9. ^ "Brazil Petrobras scandal: Tycoon Marcelo Odebrecht jailed". BBC. 8 March 2016. Retrieved 8 March 2016. 
  10. ^ Delfino, Emilia (8 November 2017). "Paradise Papers: Salen a la luz 17 offshore de Odebrecht y al menos una se usó para sobornos". Perfil. Archived from the original on 8 November 2017. Retrieved 9 November 2017. 
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