bp chief executive resigns over past relationships with colleagues

13/09/2023
Bernard Looney

BP’S CHIEF executive Bernard Looney has resigned with immediate effect after it emerged he had failed to fully disclose previous relationships with colleagues.

In a statement issued last night, the energy giant said it had been informed by Mr Looney earlier in the day that he had not been “fully transparent” in the extent of his relationships.

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Th 53-year-old, who has led the company since 2020, will be replaced by chief financial officer Murray Auchincloss on an interim basis.

bp said it first began reviewing allegations relating to Mr Looney’s conduct of his personal relationships with company colleagues in May 2022, after claims were submitted from an anonymous source.

During that time, he disclosed a “small number of historical relationships” with colleagues before he became chief executive in 2020, it said.

The company concluded that no breach of the company’s code of conduct had been made, but said it was given assurances by Mr Looney regarding his disclosure of past personal relationships, as well as his future behaviour.

However, bp said allegations “of a similar nature” had been recently made, triggering an immediate investigation with the help of external lawyers. The investigation is ongoing.

A bp statement 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.

“The company has strong values and the board expects everyone at the company to behave in accordance with those values. All leaders in particular are expected to act as role models and to exercise good judgement in a way that earns the trust of others.”

bp said it had not yet made any decisions with regard to Mr Looney’s pay, and would disclose these when they are made.

Born in Ireland and raised on a farm, Mr Looney had spent his career at bp, which he joined in 1991 as an engineer and had a spell working in the North Sea. He became a member of its executive team in 2010.

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