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BP chairman Svanberg to step down next year

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BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg is to leave the oil major next year.

In an announcement to the stock market, the FTSE 100 firm said he would remain in post until a successor was appointed.

Mr Svanberg took up the position just four months before the Gulf of Mexico disaster in April 2010.
It dominated his tenure as BP got to grips with huge fines for its role – selling assets worldwide as it sought to help cover the eventual $40bn total bill.
Eleven workers died in the explosion and fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig – with the blowout then resulting in the worst environmental catastrophe in US history as an estimated five million barrels of oil spilled into the sea over 87 days.

Image: Oil gushes from BP’s ruptured well in the Gulf of Mexico
Mr Svanberg was largely obscure – in public, at least, as then-chief executive Tony Hayward took personal charge of the fall-out only to make a sharp exit following a series of gaffes.
They included Mr Hayward’s infamous declaration that he wanted his life back as his handling of the crisis faced fierce criticism.
The appointment of Bob Dudley to succeed him paid dividends as BP secured its future though its share price remains well below its pre-Gulf crisis level – not aided by low oil prices in recent years.

Image: Former BP boss Tony Hayward
Commenting on his looming departure, Mr Svanberg said: “It has been a tremendous privilege to lead the BP board over the past eight years.

“The first couple of years were incredibly challenging for us all as we navigated an unusually complex corporate crisis.
“Through that turbulent period we stayed focused on saving and restoring the company. Today I can say with confidence that BP is back and ready for the future.
“Our chief executive, Bob Dudley, is the one who, with his team, deserves credit and I am pleased that whoever is fortunate enough to succeed me as chairman will have the opportunity to work with him and his impressive management group.”
Mr Dudley said: “BP’s comeback would not have been possible without the strong leadership and steadfast support of Carl-Henric and the board.
“Together we were able to honour our commitments to the Gulf while rebuilding BP into a safer, stronger company.
“We devised a strategy to weather the downturn in the oil market while returning to growth.
“And we committed to playing a leading role in the energy transition while delivering oil and gas more efficiently. Carl-Henric’s wise counsel and good humour will be sorely missed.”

Source: SKY