Bernard Looney gestures as he addresses the gathering on the second day of the three-day B20 Summit in New Delhi on August 26, 2023.
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Former BP CEO Bob Dudley on Tuesday said that Bernard Looney’s abrupt resignation last month came as a shock and denied any prior knowledge of the latter’s past personal relationships with colleagues.
Dudley, who worked at BP for 40 years and led the company as CEO for nearly a decade, said the British energy major would soon find a suitable successor and that Looney’s departure would likely not impact the firm’s strategy. Looney replaced Dudley as BP’s CEO, who stepped down in 2020. Looney resigned on Sept. 12, with immediate effect after less than four year on the job. He told BP that he wasn’t “fully transparent” in his disclosures about his relationships with his colleagues before he became CEO. CNBC was unable to independently verify the reports.
“It’s a shock to the organization. Dudley said that it was unexpected and that the company had great assets and great people. He spoke to CNBC on Tuesday at the Abu Dhabi International Progressive Energy Congress. Dudley was asked if he had any knowledge of the situation, given his time as a mentor to Looney. He replied that he did not know anything about it and neither did the deputy CEO or others. The board also didn’t. I don’t understand. I didn’t know. “
‘Things at BP are OK’
Looney’s surprise departure has raised questions about the outlook for BP, although current and former executives have insisted that the firm’s medium- and longer-term strategy remains unchanged. “
‘Things at BP are OK’
Looney’s surprise departure has raised questions about the outlook for BP, although current and former executives have insisted that the firm’s medium- and longer-term strategy remains the same.
“Things at BP are OK. We move forward as you would expect, despite the change that happens,” interim BP CEO Murray Auchincloss said Monday during a CNBC-moderated ADIPEC panel session.
Auchincloss said that the company remains “firmly committed” to the outlook it laid out earlier in the year, emphasizing that “the strategy is not an embodiment of a single individual, it is the embodiment of a management team and a board. “
Murray Auchincloss, interim chief executive officer of BP Plc, speaks during a panel session at the Abu Dhabi International Petroleum Exhibition and Conference (ADIPEC) in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, on Monday, Oct. 2, 2023.
Bloomberg | Bloomberg | Getty Images
“Look, we laid out an update to the strategy in February, seven months ago, that’s a strategy that’s endorsed by the management team, endorsed by the board. Auchincloss stated that the strategy does not change when one person leaves. “The transition growth engine is unchanged. Five of them. Biofuels are our favorite, especially biogas and sustainable aviation fuel. “
Dudley, who chairs the Oil and Gas Climate Initiative — an organization backed BP, Saudi Aramco and Exxon Mobil, among other Big Oil companies — echoed Auchincloss. He said BP’s strategy will likely continue to be “business as usual”. “
It was an aggressive strategy and I believe the world changed after Russia invaded Ukraine. The need for security of supply changed everybody’s views on this,” Dudley said, when asked whether Looney is on the right track, particularly regarding decarbonization.
“Before, it was clean, affordable energy, which meant reducing carbon however you could. “After the invasion, take a look at Europe’s flow of energy, the lack of pipelines for gas and the shortages all over the world,” Dudley said. “You can’t be a CEO of a large energy company and ignore facts about the world. He backed off a bit on this and that made sense to me. Shares of London listed BP have risen 9.5% in the past year.