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The Borgias of Pinheiros | Schism at the Grupo Abril?


Source: Comunique-se.

Executive Jairo Mendes Leal is no longer an employee of the Grupo Abril. At the media company since 1973, his exit was announced in a press release on October 7. He is married to Roberta Civita, heiress to businessman Roberto Civita.

At Abril, Mendes Leal occupied managerial roles, such as director of planning, commercial director, director-general of the interest group and vice-president of publishing division Editora Abril. He was CEO of the media division in recent years,  leaving his post to work at Abrilpar, the holding company controlling the logistics and education divisions of the group.

In announcing the exit of the executive, Giancarlo Civita, chairman of the board of the Grupo Abril, acknowledged “his deep knowledge of all aspects of the magazine business.” Future plans were not revealed, only the fact that he would be dedicating himself to projects outside of Abril.

In a more colorful version of the story published by 247, the “Civita clan fires their brother-in-law, creating a rift and create a rival.” The online tabloid chain calls the Civita family “the Borgias of the 21st Century.”

A leading human asset of the Abril Group’s commercial division, Jairo Mendes Leal is losing all the positions he has assumed in his 40 years wit the company. Married to  Roberta Civita, the only daughter of patriarch Roberto Civita, who passed away this year, the executive was on the staff of AbrilPar and a seat on the board of directors.

247 – During the European Renaissance, the Hispano-Italian family the Bórgias became synonymous with treachery and barbarity, among themselves and against others. Mutatis mutandis, over the centuries, other clans have been compared with these lovers of politics, power, and perversity. And now, another.

On October 8, in a press release replete with flowery rhetoric, very much like that used to announce a major career advancement, the two Civita heirs, Ginca and Titi, got rid of the third member of their own family: executive Jairo Mendes Leal was fired.

Considered the leading figure on  the commercial side of the business, Leal was shown the door but no concrete reason was given. In a single shove, he was removed from his chair as a staffer at Aprilpar, the Group’s holding company, and from its board of directors.

Over the last 20 years, he was a right-hand man to the big boss, Roberto Civita (1936-2013), who gave him his only daughter’s hand in marriage. He began working at  Abril at 15 years of age. The executive who had served the company for 40 years was like a son to his father-in-law. The sons of Robert, however, are indicating that family harmony is a thing of the past.

The confusing, however, is just beginning. To friends, Leal has already said that he wants to start a publishing concern of his own to compete with the company from which he was officially expelled yesterday. To that end,  he has more than the requisite experience and competence. As Giancarlo Civita says, in the press release announcing the move, Leal “has vast knowledge of all of the aspects of running a magazine publisher. The release says that Leal “will now dedicate himself to personal projects, outside Abril. ”

SUBTLE HUMILIATION – In a particularly cruel manner, according to those familiar with the intrigues inside the company and the ups and downs of the market, the official release noted Leal’s creation of the magazines  Men’s Health, Lola and Alfa, the latter two of which were shut down by Gianca and Titi the moment they stepped into their current roles as heirs to their father. The allegation was that these were not contributing profits. This subtle humiliation is an art practiced by clans accustomed to vicious internal power struggles. Thirty years ago, before his death, Abril founder Victor Civita, took precautions to divide his estate carefully among his sons Roberto and Richards so that they would not find themselves locked into a fratricidal struggle. Nicknamed Scrooge McDuck, good old Victor knew the sorts of sons he had.

Not a single word is spoken about the reason for the dismissal of Leal. What we know is that it was possible to see it coming. After handing in his ID badge to the Abril Building, the Civitas ordered another executive in the commercial division, Roberto Ferreira, considered a right-hand man to an executive who continues, whether he likes it or not, to be a member of the Civita clan.

Without Ferreira and Leal, Abril has had a run of shoddy performance, especially in the sale of commercial space in its prodcts.

The weekly Veja, the group’s  flashiest publication , is also suffering from lean times, with ad pages dwindling. In this area, Veja has made it very clear with this week’s issue that it has absolutely no interest in balanced reporting. The court-ordered warrants obtained to gain access to the bank accounts of Toucan politician Andrea Matarazzo and ten other suspects indicted in the Alstom-Siemens corruption scandal was not assigned a single line of text. The Bórgia — the Civita, I mean — are stil in command.