(Bloomberg) — BP Plc Chief Executive Officer Bernard Looney has resigned with immediate effect over the failure to fully disclose past relationships with colleagues.
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He will be replaced on a interim basis by Chief Financial Officer Murray Auchincloss, the company said in an emailed statement on Tuesday.
“Looney has today informed the company that he now accepts that he was not fully transparent in his previous disclosures,” according to the statement. “The company has strong values and the board expects everyone at the company to behave in accordance with those values.”
BP American depositary receipts rose as much as 2.9% on the news, which was first reported by the Financial Times.
Since taking the top job over three years ago, Looney has been the strongest advocate among the CEOs of the oil supermajors for a faster shift into low-carbon energy. Even after pulling back on some of the strongest aspirations for emissions reductions earlier this year, BP still has one of the most aggressive plans to cut oil production and expand in electric-car charging and renewable energy.
The news comes a month after the London-based company raised its dividend by 10% and said it would buy back another $1.5 billion of shares. Despite these efforts to woo investors, BP shares have lagged its peers since Looney became CEO.
US giants Exxon Mobil Corp. and Chevron Corp., which have stuck far more closely to their core oil and gas businesses than the European majors, have been far more appealing to investors, especially since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine sent energy prices soaring.
Born in 1970 and trained as an electrical engineer at University College Dublin-trained, Looney is a BP lifer, working his way up through the chain of command from drilling engineer to chief of exploration before his elevation to CEO in 2020.
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