(Reuters)BP CEO Bernard Looney has stepped down after less than four years in office following several allegations of personal relationships with colleagues, the company said in a statement on Tuesday.
BP Chief Financial Officer Murray Auchincloss will act as CEO on an interim basis, the company said.
“BP plc announces that Bernard Looney has notified the Company that he has resigned as Chief Executive Officer with immediate effect,” BP said.
“Mr Looney has today informed the Company that he now accepts that he was not fully transparent in his previous disclosures. He did not provide details of all relationships and accepts he was obligated to make more complete disclosure.”
Looney, 53, took office in February 2020 with a vow to reinvent the 114-year-old company, laying out ambitious plans for the British energy giant to achieve zero net emissions by 2050, and to invest billions in renewable and low-carbon power.
A spokesperson for BP declined to comment on the FT report.
Looney has navigated the group through some of the most tumultuous years in modern history, from COVID-19 to a rapid exit from Russia following the invasion of Ukraine last year, an energy price shock, and a global cost of living crisis.
Earlier this year, BP scaled down plans to cut hydrocarbon production by 2030, to 25% from 2019 levels from 40% previously – still the most radical reduction of oil and gas output this decade among major oil companies.
BP has struggled to convince investors it can realise competitive returns from its non-hydrocarbon businesses.
Over the last three years, BP’s shares have underperformed those of European rival Shell as well as U.S. peers Chevron and Exxon Mobil.
After raking in a record profit of $28 billion for 2022, BP’s second-quarter profit slumped 70% from a year earlier to $2.6 billion but still allowing the oil major to boost its dividend by 10%.
Looney’s 2022 pay packet more than doubled to around $12 million on the back of the bumper profits amid spiralling energy prices, while BP’s emissions were broadly unchanged from a year earlier.
Looney replaced Bob Dudley, who had steered BP through the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon spill in 2010.
BP shares ended up 1% before the report which was published after trading hours in London.