BP announces replacement for CEO Bob Dudley

Bob Dudley is credited with leading BP's investment in renewable energy and with reducing its carbon emission
Bob Dudley is credited with leading BP's investment in renewable energy and with reducing its carbon emission
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Oil giant BP said Bernard Looney will succeed Bob Dudley as chief executive when he retires next year after holding the role for nearly a decade.

Mr Dudley, who was brought in to turn around the oil giant following the Deepwater Horizon disaster, is retiring after 40 years in the industry.

Mr Dudley, 64, said he would step down as chief executive following the company's annual results in February and formally quit the following month.

Mr Looney joined BP in 1991 as a drilling engineer, and took over as the head of the group’s oil and gas exploration, development and production business worldwide in 2016.

He will take home a basic salary of £1.3m a year, before any bonuses. Mr Dudley's base pay was £1.5m last year, although with bonuses his total pay was £11.9m.

Mr Dudley said: "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."

Mr Dudley had made no secret of his desire to retire at the age of 65 although he said previously that the board had yet to agree a departure date.

His career has seen him travel the world, including an infamous stint in Russia - where he ran BP's operations, TNK-BP - before having to flee over "extreme harassment" by authorities. His Moscow apartment was broken into and he eventually escaped following a tip-off that he was about to be arrested.

He rose to prominence when he replaced Tony Hayward as chief executive in 2010 - with the world still reeling from the Deepwater Horizon disaster that left 11 oil rig workers dead and 87 days of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.

BP reached a settlement over the spill in 2017 and Mr Dudley oversaw a recovery in the group's operations and a significant expansion of its production.

He is also credited with leading BP's investment in renewable energy and with reducing its carbon emissions, although some critics said he did not move fast enough to adopt greener technology.

Mr Looney, a BP lifer, said: "I look forward to ... building on the strong foundation that Bob has built as we meet society's demand for cleaner, better energy."

During his 28 years with the business, he has worked in the North Sea, Vietnam and the Gulf of Mexico, and was also an engineer on the Alaskan Thunder Horse field.

He is keen to improve gender and global diversity at the company, and end the stigma associated with mental health.

BP chairman Helge Lund said: "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 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."

It marks the latest in a long line of senior resignations and retirements in the past week, with executives at Tesco, Sainsbury's, Metro Bank, Standard Life Aberdeen and Imperial Brands all standing down.