By Christian Moess Laursen

 

BP has formally appointed Murray Auchincloss as its new chief executive officer with immediate effect following Bernard Looney's sudden exit in September, the British oil-and-gas major said Wednesday.

Auchincloss took over as interim-CEO on Sept. 12 when Looney's 32-year career at BP came to an end after the company said he had failed to disclose details about past personal relationship with colleagues. Looney lost up to 32.4 million pounds ($40.9 million) in compensation as a result, BP said.

Auchincloss is a longtime BP executive who was finance chief before becoming interim CEO. His remuneration arrangements will include an annual salary of GBP1.45 million.

Through Looney's almost four years at the helm, the fossil-fuel giant set out a strategy to pivot from oil and gas to position itself at the front of the global transition to renewable energy.

However, BP has since struggled to match U.S. peers that have been rewarded for sticking with traditional fossil-fuel businesses.

This spurred speculation on a possible change in strategy after Looney's departure, which Auchincloss addressed in a webcast to BP staff the day after the leadership change.

"Our strategy--from international oil company to integrated energy company--does not change. I'm convinced about the significant value we can create," Auchincloss said.

"Now, more than ever, our focus must remain on delivery--operating safely and efficiently, executing with discipline, and always focusing on returns," he said.

Since Looney's abrupt exit, shares in the London-based energy company have underperformed, dropping 14% amid investor uncertainty over BP's future strategy.

 

Write to Christian Moess Laursen at christian.moess@wsj.com

 

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

January 17, 2024 02:35 ET (07:35 GMT)

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