British oil major BP picks new boss with CEO Bob Dudley set to step down in 2020
Bob Dudley, the chief executive of UK energy giant BP, will end his 40-year career with the firm and retire on March 31, 2020, the company announced on Friday, naming Bernard Looney as his successor.
Dudley, who held the post for almost a decade, will step down from the BP board and his position as chief executive following the delivery of the company’s 2019 full-year results on February 4, 2020. He will officially leave the company at the end of March.
“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 the position as one of the leaders of the energy sector,” BP Chairman Helge Lund said, commenting on Dudley’s departure.
The disastrous event in the Gulf of Mexico that Lund mentioned occurred in 2010 and is considered to have been the largest marine oil spill in history. The explosion and subsequent fire at the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig claimed the lives of 11 workers. The accident cost BP billions to settle, sparking fears that the oil major could face bankruptcy.
From 2003 to 2008, Dudley was president and chief executive officer of Russian oil company TNK-BP. In 2013, the oil firm was taken over by Russian oil major Rosneft in a $55 billion deal.
The chief executive at the firm’s Upstream department, Bernard Looney, will succeed Dudley, joining the BP board on February 5, 2020, according to a company statement.
Looney joined BP in 1991 as a drilling engineer, working in the North Sea, Vietnam and the Gulf of Mexico. From 2005, he served as senior vice-president at BP Alaska and then head of the group chief executive’s office. Four years later, he took on the role of managing director of North Sea business at BP. The 49-year-old has been running the energy giant’s Upstream business since April 2016, and has been a member of the company’s executive management team for almost a decade, since November 2010.
“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,” the outgoing BP boss said of his successor.
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