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.
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.