The CEO of oil industry behemoth BP, Bernard Looney, officially resigned Wednesday morning after allegations and subsequent investigations found “personal relationships with company colleagues,” BP said in a release.
In May 2022, anonymous sources first reported that Looney, 53, had inappropriate conduct with employees, which was investigated with the help of “external legal counsel.” At the time, Looney admitted to having previous relationships with certain employees before he became CEO in February 2020.
Bernard Looney, CEO of BP, during the Business 20 (B-20) Summit in New Delhi, India (Getty Images)
The company found there was no breach of the code of conduct until new and similar allegations forced Looney to admit that he was “not fully transparent” in his original disclosure to the Board.
“He did not provide details of all relationships and accepts he was obligated to make more complete disclosure,” BP said. “The Company has strong values and the Board expects everyone at the Company to behave in accordance with those values. All leaders in particular are expected to act as role models and to exercise good judgement in a way that earns the trust of others.”
Current BP CFO Murray Auchincloss will take over Looney’s role as interim CEO.
Looney joined BP in 1991 as an engineer and “spent his entire career” at the company, according to the Associated Press.
Upon his appointment, Looney made the bold declaration that under his guise, BP would reach complete carbon neutrality by 2050.
“The world’s carbon budget is finite and running out fast; we need a rapid transition to net zero,” he said at the time. “We all want energy that is reliable and affordable, but that is no longer enough. It must also be cleaner. To deliver that, trillions of dollars will need to be invested in replumbing and rewiring the world’s energy system. It will require nothing short of reimagining energy as we know it.”
BP said that it has not yet decided how Looney will be paid out upon his departure.