The CEO of oil company BP, Bernard Looney, resigned with immediate effect after admitting he had not been “fully transparent” about his relationships with colleagues. Murray Auchincloss, the company’s chief financial officer, will serve as CEO on an interim basis.
CNN quotes the company’s statement as saying that “in May 2022, the board received and reviewed, with the support of outside legal counsel, allegations regarding Mr. Looney’s conduct in personal relationships with company associates. The information came from an anonymous source.”
During that review, Looney disclosed “a small number of relationships with co-workers prior to becoming CEO,” but no violations of the company’s code of conduct were found.
The exact nature of these relationships has not been revealed.
BP reported that it had recently received further information with allegations of a similar nature. The company has initiated an investigation, which is currently ongoing.
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“Mr. Looney has informed the company that he acknowledges that he has not been fully transparent in his previous testimony,” the statement said. “He did not provide details of all accounts and acknowledges that he was obliged to disclose information more thoroughly.”
Looney, 53, has spent less than four years at the helm of BP, but started working for the London oil and gas company in 1991 at the age of 21. He was promoted to the position of general director in July 2020.
Looney came into the role with grand plans to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 and spend billions on renewable energy. Under his leadership, BP became the only major oil company to set a goal of reducing oil and gas production this decade. Shareholders weren’t too happy with this decision, and BP’s stock lagged behind competitors like Shell, Chevron and Exxon Mobil.
Main photo source: ALI HAIDER/PAP/EPA