In a surprise development,
has resigned as the CEO of
, after less than four years in the oil major’s top job. The resignation came after it was revealed that he had failed to fully disclose details of past personal relationships with colleagues.
“He did not provide details of all relationships and accepts he was obligated to make more complete disclosure,” the BP said in a release.
In a statement, Looney said that he was “deeply sorry” for the error in judgment and that he had “let down” the company and its employees. He said that he had made the decision to resign “in the best interests of BP”.
Recently, more allegations were made against Looney and an investigation involving external legal counsel was ongoing. Looney informed the company that he now accepted that he was not fully transparent in his previous disclosures and decided to resign. The company said that it had strong values and expected everyone, especially its leaders, to act as role models and to exercise good judgment.
The company’s board of directors has appointed Murray Auchincloss, the CFO, as interim CEO. Auchincloss is a 25-year veteran of BP and has held a variety of senior financial roles. He is seen as a safe pair of hands who can provide stability during this period of transition.
The search for a permanent successor to Looney is underway. The board is said to be looking for a candidate with a strong track record in both the oil and gas industry and in the low-carbon transition.
According to a Bloomberg story, Looney’s exit marks the conclusion of the era of the influential cadre of BP executives referred to as the “turtles.” These individuals served as aides to former CEO John Browne, and he humorously bestowed this moniker upon them, drawing parallels to the
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
for their rapid response and knack for appearing whenever required, the Bloomberg report said. Notably, both of Looney’s immediate predecessors, Tony Hayward and
, hailed from this group of executives.
Looney’s resignation is a reminder of the challenges facing the oil and gas industry. The sector is under pressure to reduce its emissions and to invest in renewable energy.
Here are some other details about Looney:
Bernard Looney is an Irish oil executive who served as the CEO of BP from 2020 to 2023.
He was the first Irish national to lead the company.
Looney joined BP in 1991 and held a variety of roles in the company, including upstream operations, refining and marketing, and strategy.
He was appointed CEO in February 2020, succeeding Bob Dudley.