BP’s Bernard Looney replaced after not being ‘transparent’ about relationships

The head of BP, Bernard Looney, has suddenly resigned amid a review of his personal relationships with colleagues.

The 53-year-old, who was paid more than £10million last year, is said to have broken company rules and resigned as chief executive with “immediate effect”.

He admitted he was not being “fully transparent” about personal liaisons with staff. He has been replaced by chief financial officer Murray Auchinloss, who will serve as shieve executive officer on an interim basis.

In a statement, BP said: “Mr Looney has today informed the company that he now accepts that he was not fully transparent in his previous disclosures.

“He did not provide details of all relationships and accepts he was obligated to make more complete disclosure.”

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His resignation is likely to be a shock for investors after Mr Looney helped BP get through an energy price shock, the Covid-19 pandemic and a rapid exit from Russia after the invasion of Ukraine last year.

BP shares, which opened down more than one percent, were up 0.3 per cent, at 524.5p after around half an hour of trading.

The company’s shareholders will now be watching for who is appointed as BP’s next chief executive, Sophie Lund-Yates from investment firm Hargreaves Lansdown said in a note.

The company’s board had been first alerted in May 2022 to claims from an anonymous source about Mr Looney’s relationships.

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After it launched a review, Mr Looney “disclosed a small number of historical relationships with colleagues prior to becoming CEO” – but was found not to have breached BP’s code of conduct.

However further allegations of a similar nature were received more recently, and the company immediately began investigating again.

As the investigation continued, Mr Looney informed the company that he was “not fully transparent in his previous disclosures”.

BP added: “He did not provide details of all relationships and accepts he was obligated to more complete disclosure.

“The company has strong values and the board expects everyone at the company to behave in accordance with those values.”

Mr Looney has been working at BP since 1991, and only started as chief executive in 2020.

Less than four years later he has decided to resign his position after being in the oil industry all his life.

Mr Looney has earned a total of £16.2million since becoming chief executive in 2020. BP said no decisions had been made “in respect of any remuneration payments”.


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