SMITH BRAIN TRUST -- You know you have a corruption problem when Brazilian prosecutors catch you with nearly $24 million in bribe money stashed in a hidden Monaco account. Such stories have become common at Petrobras, a state-controlled oil company engulfed in an 18-month investigation that already has led to 80 arrests and put previously untouchable powerbrokers on alert. Even Brazilian President Dilma Rousseff remains vulnerable.
Overall, Petrobras leaders diverted $2 billion to their personal accounts, and at least some of that activity occurred while Rousseff served as Petrobras chairwoman. But beneath the growing scandal, another picture emerges of a pioneering company with serious know-how. “If you think about deep-water exploration, they’re probably the leading company,” says Smith School clinical professor Paulo Prochno, a Brazilian native who has taught executive education courses with many Petrobras managers. He shares insights on Petrobras and explains why the company's long-term outlook remains strong in this Smith Brain Trust podcast (13:08).