After spending five years and six months at the head of the largest company in Colombia, Ecopetrol, Felipe Bayon announced yesterday that he will leave the presidency of this as of next March 30. His decision appeared to some, but others saw it coming for some time, almost since when Gustavo Petro took over the reins of the country in August 2022.

(Also read: What comes next for Ecopetrol with the departure of Felipe Bayón?)

The positive results, with record profits, achieved during his tenure at the Colombian oil company, apparently, were not a reason for him to continue leading the company sufficiently. Quite the contrary, for some months the rumors about a change in the management of Ecopetrol gained strength and were the topic of conversation in the board of directors, including the one held yesterday Thursday, when the news of his departure was released.

At the end of the third quarter of 2022, Ecopetrol accumulated profits of 26.5 trillion pesos in the course of the year, in addition to reporting historical revenues of 119.8 trillion pesos.

An analysis by Daniel Coronel, for W Radio, points out precisely that Saúl Kattan who chairs the board of directors of Ecopetrol and, also very close to the president since last year he came talking with Bayón about his departure.

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According to the information, «Kattan told him that thinking about the succession was necessary but not urgent,» in response to which the highest spokesman for the Colombian oil company always showed «the best disposition, reiterating, yes, that he expected restrained treatment.» and dignified and that the company would honor the commitments it has with him».

However, the author of the note comments that one of the reasons that could hasten the decision that Bayón stepped aside in the management of the oil company was the refusal of the director not to accompany this week Irene Vélez, Minister of Mines and Energyin defense of the report on oil and gas reserves, which has generated great controversy in the country.

The truth is that, as he mentions, at the end of the Ecopetrol board of directors yesterday, the president of the company asked the members of the company to stay and later informed them of his decision, which «was not exactly a resignation (This is key because if it were a resignation, he would lose part of the compensation that he has justly earned)» to remain in office until the end of March, something that «he had been talking to Saul Kattan».

Kattan, as mentioned, is among the list of possible successors to Bayón in the presidency of Ecopetrol, along with Ricardo Roa, a mechanical engineer from the National University, who has been manager of the Bogotá Energy Company, president of the Transportadora de Gas Internacional, TGI, and manager of the Honduran Energy Company.