Citgo Petroleum Corp. on April 22 announced the appointment of its first stand-alone chief compliance officer to report directly to the CEO and audit committee of the board of directors.
Steven Scarpino will serve as Citgo’s chief compliance and ethics officer, the company said in a press release. Scarpino previously worked as director of ethics and compliance at British Petroleum from 2009 to earlier this year, according to his LinkedIn profile.
“CITGO is committed to the highest standards of ethics, integrity and compliance – just as we are committed to excellence in operational performance,” said President and CEO Carlos Jordá in a press release. “Steven brings nearly two decades of leadership in corporate ethics and compliance, and we welcome him to this vitally important position at CITGO.”
The title of chief compliance and ethics officer at Citgo had been held since February 2020 by Jack Lynch, who is also the company’s vice president of legal and governmental affairs. When Lynch took on added compliance duties, the company at the time said he would be expected to implement board-recommended enhancements to the compliance department.
Citgo says Scarpino’s appointment is the “latest step in a company-wide effort to strengthen ethics and corporate governance.” Late last year, Citgo released its first environmental, social, and governance (ESG) report, called “A Clear Direction Forward.”
“In his new role, Scarpino will continue promoting regulatory and legal compliance as well as the speak-up, listen-up, follow-up culture throughout the company,” Citgo said.
Citgo’s governance changes have largely come since it formally cut ties with its majority owner—Venezuelan state-run oil company Petróleos de Venezuela SA (PDVSA)—in February 2019 to meet U.S. sanctions issued under President Donald Trump. PDVSA has been beset by corruption for years; just last month, the Department of Justice announced a former top Citgo executive, Jose Luis De Jongh Atencio, pled guilty to accepting more than $7 million worth of bribes to help businesspeople obtain contracts with Citgo and PDVSA.