Marcelo Odebrecht

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Marcelo Odebrecht
Marcelo Bahia Odebrecht.jpg
Odebrecht in 2009
Marcelo Bahia Odebrecht

(1968-10-18) October 18, 1968 (age 50)
Salvador, Brazil
Alma materUniversidade Federal da Bahia
TitleFormer chairman and CEO, Odebrecht
SuccessorNewton de Souza
Criminal statusServing penalty from home after 2 years and six months in prison
RelativesNorberto Odebrecht (grandfather)
Criminal chargeActive corruption, criminal association and money laundering
Penalty19 years and 4 months in prison

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[edit]

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[edit]

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.