New BP boss named as Bob Dudley announces departure

The BP boss brought in to turn around the oil major following the Deepwater Horizon disaster is to retire after 40 years in the industry.

Bob Dudley, 64, has been in the industry for 40 years. Picture: BP plc
Bob Dudley, 64, has been in the industry for 40 years. Picture: BP plc

Bob Dudley said he would step down as chief executive following the company’s annual results in February and formally quit the following month.

New York-born Dudley will be replaced by Irish national Bernard Looney, currently head of oil and gas production, who had been tipped for the top job.

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Looney will take home a basic salary of £1.3 million a year, before any bonuses. Dudley’s base pay was in dollars and hit $1.85m (£1.5m) last year, although with bonuses his total pay was some $14.7m.

The outgoing boss 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.”


Dudley rose to prominence when he replaced Tony Hayward as chief executive in 2010 – with the world still reeling from the Deepwater Horizon disaster that left 11 oil rig workers dead and 87 days of oil leaking into the Gulf of Mexico.

He reached a settlement over the spill in 2017, led a recovery in the group’s operations and a significant expansion of its production. The boss is also credited with leading BP’s investment in renewable energy and with reducing its carbon emissions – although some critics have said he did not move fast enough.

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