BP CEO Bob Dudley to retire

Bob Dudley, CEO of BP, has decided to retire from the position and from the company’s board in March 2020.

Bob Dudley, BP CEO - Image by Bartolomej Tomić
Bob Dudley, BP CEO – Image by Bartolomej Tomić

Dudley, who spent 40 years with BP, nine of which as the CEO, will step down following delivery of the company’s 2019 full-year results on 4 February 2020 and will retire on 31 March 2020. Dudley took over the CEO position from Tony Hayward in 2010, following the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.

Commenting on Dudley’s retirement, BP Chairman Helge Lund said: “Bob has dedicated his whole career to the service of this industry. He was appointed chief executive at probably the most challenging time in BP’s history. During his tenure he has led the recovery from the Deepwater Horizon accident, rebuilt BP as a stronger, safer company and helped it re-earn its position as one of the leaders of the energy sector. This company – and indeed the whole industry – owes him a debt of gratitude.”

BP said Friday that Dudley will be succeeded by Bernard Looney, 49, currently chief executive, Upstream, responsible for BP’s oil and gas exploration, development and production activities worldwide.

According to BP, during Looney’s tenure as Upstream CEO, process and personal safety performance have improved by 35% and 20% respectively and production has grown by 20%, driven largely by 23 major project start-ups – delivered ahead of schedule and under budget.

Chairman: “Bernard has all the right qualities to lead us through this transformational era.” 

On Looney’s appointment, Lund added: “As the company charts its course through the energy transition this is a logical time for a change. Bernard has all the right qualities to lead us through this transformational era. He has deep experience in the energy sector, has risen through the ranks of BP, and has consistently delivered strong safety, operational and financial performance. He is an authentic, progressive leader, with a passion for purpose and people and a clear sense of what BP must do to thrive through the energy transition.”

New CEO Bernard Looney / Image by BP
New CEO Bernard Looney / Image by BP

Bob Dudley, who has waived any entitlement to an annual bonus in relation to any part of 2020 that he works, said: “It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve this company and work in this industry for the past four decades. I have worked with so many committed people from all over the world – both inside and outside BP – and I am enormously proud of all the things we have achieved together to provide energy for the world. Bernard is a terrific choice to lead the company next. He knows BP and our industry as well as anyone but is creative and not bound by traditional ways of working. I have no doubt that he will thoughtfully lead BP through the transition to a low carbon future.”

Bernard Looney said: “It has been a great pleasure to work with Bob and it is an honor to succeed him as chief executive. I am humbled by the responsibility that is being entrusted to me by the Board and am truly excited about both the role and BP’s future. Our company has amazing people, tremendous assets, and a set of core values that guide our actions, but most of all we have a desire to be better. I look forward to tapping into that desire and building on the strong foundation that Bob has built as we meet society’s demand for cleaner, better energy.”

Lamar McKay, currently deputy group chief executive, will serve as as chief transition officer, supporting the Chairman and incoming group chief executive to ensure a full and orderly transfer of leadership. He will assume this new role immediately and step down as deputy group chief executive. He was appointed deputy CEO in 2016, having previously served as BP’s Upstream boss.


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