Korie Sauls

Written by Korie Sauls

Modified & Updated: 19 May 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Abril.com.br

Marcelo Odebrecht is a name that has reverberated through headlines and sparked interest around the world. As the former CEO of Odebrecht, a Brazilian construction conglomerate, he became synonymous with one of the largest corruption scandals in Latin America’s history. However, there is more to Marcelo Odebrecht than meets the eye. In this article, we will delve into his life and shed light on 10 surprising facts that you may not know about him. From his family background to his professional achievements and the eventual downfall, there is much to explore about this enigmatic figure. So, let’s dive in and uncover the lesser-known aspects of Marcelo Odebrecht’s life.

Key Takeaways:

  • Marcelo Odebrecht, from a famous Brazilian family, faced a corruption scandal, cooperated with authorities, and is working to rebuild his reputation through social projects and expressing remorse.
  • Marcelo Odebrecht’s story shows the importance of ethical business practices and the impact of individuals in positions of power on society. It’s a cautionary tale about transparency and accountability.
Table of Contents

Marcelo Odebrecht comes from a renowned Brazilian family.

Marcelo Odebrecht hails from the prestigious Odebrecht family, which has been a prominent name in Brazil for generations. The Odebrecht Group, founded by Marcelo’s grandfather, Norberto Odebrecht, is a diversified conglomerate with interests in engineering, construction, and petrochemicals.

Marcelo Odebrecht served as the CEO of Odebrecht SA.

As the third generation of the Odebrecht family, Marcelo took on the role of Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Odebrecht SA in He led the company through significant growth and expansion, making it one of the largest construction conglomerates in Latin America.

Marcelo Odebrecht was involved in a major corruption scandal.

In 2015, Marcelo Odebrecht became embroiled in the Operation Car Wash scandal, a massive corruption investigation in Brazil. He was found guilty of bribery, money laundering, and other charges related to illicit payments made by Odebrecht SA to politicians and government officials.

Marcelo Odebrecht spent time in prison.

As a result of his involvement in the corruption scandal, Marcelo Odebrecht was sentenced to 19 years in prison in He served two and a half years of his sentence before being released on house arrest in His early release was granted in exchange for cooperating with the investigation.

Marcelo Odebrecht’s cooperation led to a landmark plea bargain agreement.

Marcelo Odebrecht’s willingness to cooperate with authorities was pivotal in unraveling the depth of corruption in Brazil. His testimony and evidence helped secure the largest plea bargain agreement in the country’s history, implicating numerous politicians and high-ranking officials.

Marcelo Odebrecht relinquished control of the Odebrecht Group.

Due to his legal troubles, Marcelo Odebrecht stepped down as CEO and handed over control of the Odebrecht Group to a new management team. The company has since undergone significant reforms to improve its governance and compliance practices.

Marcelo Odebrecht’s sentence was reduced for his cooperation.

As part of his plea bargain agreement, Marcelo Odebrecht’s original 19-year sentence was reduced to 10 years. This reduction was a result of his invaluable assistance in the investigation and his commitment to cooperating fully with authorities.

Marcelo Odebrecht has been working on rebuilding his reputation.

Since his release from prison, Marcelo Odebrecht has dedicated himself to repairing his tarnished reputation. He has been actively involved in social and environmental projects and has expressed remorse for his past actions.

Marcelo Odebrecht is no longer involved in the day-to-day operations of Odebrecht SA.

Following his release, Marcelo Odebrecht has taken a step back from the day-to-day operations of Odebrecht SA. He has chosen to focus on his personal life and contribute to society in other ways.

Marcelo Odebrecht’s story serves as a cautionary tale.

Marcelo Odebrecht’s rise and fall from grace is a cautionary tale about the consequences of unethical business practices. His involvement in the corruption scandal highlights the importance of transparency, accountability, and maintaining a strong ethical framework in corporate governance.


In conclusion, Marcelo Odebrecht is undoubtedly a figure who has made a significant impact on the business world. From his rise to power in the Odebrecht Group to his shocking involvement in corruption scandals, there are many surprising facts about his life and career.

Despite his controversial reputation, it is important to acknowledge the achievements and success he attained during his tenure as the CEO of Odebrecht. His leadership and strategic decision-making skills propelled the company to new heights.

However, Marcelo Odebrecht’s story also serves as a cautionary tale about the consequences of unethical actions in the corporate world. The scandals surrounding him should remind us of the importance of transparency, accountability, and ethical business practices.

In the end, the legacy of Marcelo Odebrecht serves as a reminder that power and influence must always be used responsibly and ethically in order to uphold the integrity of businesses and society as a whole.


Q: Who is Marcelo Odebrecht?

A: Marcelo Odebrecht is a Brazilian businessman who served as the CEO of the Odebrecht Group, one of the largest construction conglomerates in Latin America.

Q: What is the Odebrecht Group?

A: The Odebrecht Group is a Brazilian conglomerate involved in various industries, including construction, engineering, petrochemicals, and energy. It was founded in 1944 and has grown to become a global player in its sectors.

Q: What were the corruption scandals involving Marcelo Odebrecht?

A: Marcelo Odebrecht was implicated in a massive corruption scandal known as Operation Car Wash. It involved illegal payments and bribes made by the Odebrecht Group to secure lucrative contracts with the Brazilian government.

Q: What was Marcelo Odebrecht’s role in the corruption scandals?

A: Marcelo Odebrecht was found guilty of authorizing illicit payments and participating in the corruption scheme involving the Odebrecht Group. He was sentenced to prison and served several years before being released under certain conditions.

Q: What is the impact of Marcelo Odebrecht’s actions?

A: Marcelo Odebrecht’s actions had far-reaching consequences, not only for himself and the Odebrecht Group but also for the reputation of the construction industry in Brazil. The scandal led to a significant loss of trust and credibility in the business sector.

Q: What lessons can be learned from Marcelo Odebrecht’s story?

A: Marcelo Odebrecht’s story underscores the importance of ethical business practices, transparency, and accountability. It serves as a reminder that no individual or company is above the law and that unethical actions will ultimately have severe consequences.

Marcelo Odebrecht's story serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of corruption in the construction industry and its impact on Brazilian politics. His fall from grace highlights the importance of transparency and accountability in both spheres. While his tale is one of caution, it also demonstrates the potential for redemption through cooperation with authorities. As Brazil continues to grapple with the fallout of the Odebrecht scandal, it is crucial to examine the broader implications for the nation's political landscape, including the astonishing facts surrounding Dilma Rousseff's presidency. By understanding the complexities of these issues and the role of construction companies, we can work towards building a more ethical and sustainable future for Brazil.

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