BP chief resigns amid ‘personal relations’ review

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The head of oil giant BP has resigned as chief executive amid a review of his personal relationships with colleagues.

Bernard Looney, who has led the company since 2020, will step down from his position effective immediately, the company said.

BP said it recently launched an investigation into alleged relationships Looney had with colleagues, the second such review in two years.

Looney admitted he wasn’t “completely transparent” at first, the company said.

A company spokesman said: “The company has strong values ​​and the board expects everyone in the company to act in accordance with these values.”

“All leaders in particular are expected to lead by example and exercise good judgment in a way that gains the trust of others.”

Looney spent his career at BP, which he joined in 1991 as an engineer. He became a member of its executive team in 2010.

Looney had set out a plan to make the energy giant net zero by 2050, but was criticized by environmental groups for watering down his initial targets.

His departure comes at a time of closer scrutiny of executive personal conduct, which has seen other high-profile firings.

BP said it had not made any decisions regarding Mr. Looney’s severance pay. He took home more than £10m in salary and bonuses last year, as rising oil prices pushed the company’s profits to a record high.

CFO Murray Auchincloss will serve as CEO on an interim basis.

At the time, the company said Looney had disclosed “a small number of historical relationships with colleagues prior to becoming CEO” and found no corporate conduct violations.

The council said it had received similar allegations “recently” and had launched an investigation.

BP said Looney “did not provide details of all relationships and accepts that he is obligated to disclose more fully.”

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