BP CEO, Bernard Looney, has resigned in the middle of an ongoing review of his past relationships with other colleagues. He became the CEO in 2020 and is now having to step down from his role after being in it for less than 4 years.
In a press release by BP last week, it’s mentioned that the company’s CFO Murray Auchincloss will act as CEO on an interim basis. The online statement also goes into detail about why this is happening and mentions that the Board of the company first reviewed the allegations against Mr Looney in 2022.
The review back then revealed that he was in multiple relationships with colleagues before becoming CEO, so there was no breach in the code of conduct. However, Mr Looney has only now been honest that he was not transparent with the Board about all his relationships.
“BP CEO Has Changed, Fundamentals Have Not”
According to the BBC, Mr Auchincloss said in a webcast to all BP employees that the main focus is the safety of the staff and that while the CEO has changed, the fundamentals haven’t. He also added that despite Mr Looney’s exit, BP’s strategy and leadership team will not change.
Mr Looney’s resignation comes as a shock to not just the general public, but also to BP shareholders and employees because, according to the Fortune, they first heard the news from the Financial Times. While they waited for more confirmation, the share prices of the company rose and fell. However, with the resignation having sunk in, the share price seems to have stabilised.
Not The First High Profile Dismissal
This is not the first time a CEO has resigned or been dismissed after details of their personal life came to the forefront. Earlier this year in April, NBCUniversal’s CEO Jeff Shell left the company after working for 19 years. This happened after information about his “inappropriate relationship” with a female employee came to light. In a statement issued, he said he deeply regretted it.
Similarly, Tony Danker, director general of the CBI was dismissed after reports of his misconduct towards several employees came to light. When it happened, Tony Danker was shocked that he was being sacked. However, in a statement released by the CBI, they said that while Mr Danker was not associated with any recent allegations, his workplace conduct has fallen short of what is expected of a director-general.
The information about the former BP CEO and his relationships came from an anonymous tip-off in 2022, the BBC reports. However, there were recent allegations that were brought to the Board’s attention, which then prompted them to conduct another review – where Mr Looney accepted not being fully honest.
There is no information about Mr Looney’s severance pay yet.