Brazil's Federal Public Prosecution Office, the Public Prosecution Office of the state of Minas Gerais, the Federal Police and the Civil Police of Minas Gerais wrote to Vale on Friday, recommending the dismissal of certain executives and employees.
The board met on Friday and Saturday, during which Schvartsman offered to temporarily step down.
"Even totally assured of my righteous ways and having fulfilled my duty, I request the board to accept my temporary leave in the benefit of the company's continued operations," Schvartsman said in a letter to the board, according to Bloomberg.
Executive director of ferrous and coal, Peter Poppinga, head of planning and development of ferrous and coal, Lucio Flavio Gallon Cavalli, and head of operations of the southeast corridor, Silmar Magalhães Silva, also stepped down.
Current executive director of base metals Eduardo de Salles Bartolomeo has been appointed as interim CEO.
Current head of pellet and manganese, Claudio de Oliveira Alves, will hold the interim position of executive director of ferrous and coal while the head of legal, institutional relations and sustainability of base metals, Mark Travers will hold the interim position of executive director of base metals.
"Vale also informs that its board of directors remains in readiness to seek a transparent and productive relationship with the Brazilian authorities in order to clarify the facts, to properly remediate the damages and to maintain the company's integrity, and that will keep society and markets informed about any new fact," Vale said in a statement.
In Vale's most recent update on February 26, it reported 179 dead and 131 still missing following the January 26 failure of a dam at the Córrego do Feijão mine.