BP names new boss as Bob Dudley steps down

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Bob Dudley has been BP’s chief executive for the past nine years

BP’s chief executive Bob Dudley is stepping down from the oil giant next year, becoming the latest FTSE 100 boss this week to announce plans to leave.

Mr Dudley, who has spent 40 years with BP and the last nine as chief executive, will be replaced by insider Bernard Looney.

The change takes place in February after the company’s full-year results.

Earlier this week, Tesco and tobacco group Imperial Brands also announced their bosses intended to leave.

Dave Lewis, chief executive of Tesco, surprised investors this week when he said he would leave the supermarket chain next summer. He will be replaced by Ken Murphy, who has held senior roles in the group that owns chemist chain Boots.

Imperial Brands has not named a replacement for Alison Cooper, one of the five women running a FTSE 100 company.

‘Challenging time’

Mr Dudley took the helm of BP in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon drilling accident, which took place in the Gulf of Mexico in April 2010, killing 11 workers and causing an environmental catastrophe.

It cost the oil company more than $60bn (£49bn) and caused extensive damage to its reputation.

Helge Lund, BP’s chairman, said Mr Dudley “was appointed chief executive at probably the most challenging time in BP’s history”.

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Mr Dudley took over after the Deepwater Horizon accident

“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”.

But there have been other controversies.

In 2016, investors voted down a 20% pay increase for Mr Dudley, and only this week the Royal Shakespeare Company said it would end its partnership with BP after concerns were raised by students about the company’s impact on the environment.

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