BP CEO Bob Dudley, who steered the oil giant from bankruptcy after the Deepwater Horizon spill, is stepping down

BP’s outgoing CEO Bob Dudley is widely credit with helping the American company to recover after the deep water horizon incident. Suzanne Plunkett/Reuters
  • BP CEO Bob Dudley is set to step down from the role in 2020, after spending more than 40 years at the oil-giant.
  • He will be replaced by 49-year-old Bernard Looney, the company said in a statement.
  • Dudley, who has been chief exec for nine years, is widely credited with BP’s recovery post-deep water horizon – the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico that plagued the company’s reputation.
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Bob Dudley, the chief executive of oil giant BP, is to step down from the role in February of next year, after spending more than nine years at the top of the company.

BP announced the move in a statement on its website, where it also said that Bernard Looney, 49, currently chief executive of BP’s Upstream branch will succeed Dudley in the role.

“It has been the privilege of a lifetime to serve this company and work in this industry for the past four decades,” said Dudley in the statement.

Dudley, who has been at the company more than 40-years, is credited with helping BP’s recovery after its catastrophic oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.

“During his tenure he has led the recovery from the Deepwater Horizon accident, rebuilt BP as a stronger, safer company and helped it re-earn its position as one of the leaders of the energy sector,” the statement said.

Dudley helped to steer BP away from bankruptcy, according to the Financial Times, which added that the company had to pay more than $US60 billion in legal and clean up costs for the damage.

BP Chairman Helge Lund said that “the company – and indeed the whole industry – owes him [Dudley] a debt of gratitude.”

Dudley said in the statement: “Bernard is a terrific choice to lead the company next. He knows BP and our industry as well as anyone but is creative and not bound by traditional ways of working. I have no doubt that he will thoughtfully lead BP through the transition to a low carbon future.”

BP, like other oil companies, is now under increasing pressure to take responsibility for its role in climate change and global warming, as climate activists have pushed the company to reduce emissions in accordance with the 2015 Paris climate agreement.

Lund added that Looney will be driving BP through its “energy transition.”