BP CEO ends 40-year career with company

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The Board of BP announced Friday that, after a 40-year career with BP and over nine years as group chief executive, Bob Dudley, 64, has decided to step down as group chief executive and from the BP Board following delivery of the company’s 2019 full year results on February 4, and will retire on March 31, 2020.

The Board also announced that Bernard Looney, 49, currently chief executive, Upstream, will succeed Dudley as group chief executive and join the BP Board on February 5, 2020. Looney will continue in his current role until this date.

Commenting on the announcement, BP Chairman Helge Lund said, “Bob has dedicated his whole career to the service of this industry. He was appointed chief executive at probably the most challenging time in BP’s history. During his tenure he has led the recovery from the Deepwater Horizon accident, rebuilt BP as a stronger, safer company and helped it re-earn its position as one of the leaders of the energy sector. This company – and indeed the whole industry – owes him a debt of gratitude.”

On Looney’s appointment, Lund added, “As the company charts its course through the energy transition this is a logical time for a change. Bernard has all the right qualities to lead us through this transformational era. He has deep experience in the energy sector, has risen through the ranks of BP, and has consistently delivered strong safety, operational and financial performance. He is an authentic, progressive leader, with a passion for purpose and people and a clear sense of what BP must do to thrive through the energy transition.”

Bob Dudley commented: “It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve this company and work in this industry for the past four decades. I have worked with so many committed people from all over the world – both inside and outside BP – and I am enormously proud of all the things we have achieved together to provide energy for the world. Bernard is a terrific choice to lead the company next. He knows BP and our industry as well as anyone but is creative and not bound by traditional ways of working. I have no doubt that he will thoughtfully lead BP through the transition to a low carbon future.“

Bernard Looney said: “It has been a great pleasure to work with Bob and it is an honour to succeed him as chief executive. I am humbled by the responsibility that is being entrusted to me by the Board and am truly excited about both the role and BP’s future. Our company has amazing people, tremendous assets, and a set of core values that guide our actions, but most of all we have a desire to be better. I look forward to tapping into that desire and building on the strong foundation that Bob has built as we meet society’s demand for cleaner, better energy.”

The Board also announced that Lamar McKay, currently deputy group chief executive, has agreed to serve as chief transition officer. In this new role, McKay will support the Chairman and incoming group chief executive to ensure a full and orderly transfer of leadership. He will assume this new role immediately and step down as deputy group chief executive.

These decisions are the result of a comprehensive and deliberate search process, including consideration of a range of internal and external candidates. The process was led by Helge Lund, senior independent director Sir Ian Davis and remuneration committee chair Paula Rosput Reynolds, a working group of the Board’s nomination and governance committee.

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