Pires has been Vale's EVP of finance and investor relations since 2012.
In the new position, Pires will be responsible for "leading initiatives to position Vale for the future".
"The executive vice president will also integrate the company's transformation efforts to achieve its ambitions of being a benchmark in safety, a world-class reliable operator, a talent-driven organization, a leader in low-carbon mining and a reference in value creation and sharing," the company said.
Vale said Gustavo Pimenta, who's worked at power company AES for the past 12 years where he's been global CFO for the past three years, would replace Pires as EVP of finance and investor relations.
The changes take effect on November 1.
Vale's Brazil-listed shares closed up almost 1% yesterday to BRL84.12, a midpoint in its 12-month range, capitalising it about BRL445 billion (US$84 billion).