BP CEO Bernard Looney has been forced to resign from his role as the boss of one world’s leading energy companies. He departs immediately after almost four years in the hot seat and a life long career at BP.
Mr Looney fell foul of BP’s code of conduct by failing to disclose the full details about a number of previous relationships with staff members.
The unexpected departure comes at crucial time for BP as it tries to transition its business away from hydro carbons and towards green energy.
Though Mr Looney had scaled back those ambitions earlier this year as rising oil & gas prices drove BP’s annual profits sharply higher.
The loss of the CEO in these circumstances might be expected to dent the company’s share price significantly, given that markets hate uncertainty.
Oil price correlation
However, BP shares fell by just -1.25% on Tuesday, buoyed by oil prices that have risen by +1.90% over the last week, and by 8.0% over the last month.
Brent Crude Futures are trading near 10 month highs on expectations of further supply cuts by major producers, even as OPEC suggested that global demand for oil was rising.
BP shares have rallied by just over +10.0% in 2023 year to date and have traded as high as 570p in February this year.
BPs board will need to move quickly to find a successor to Mr Looney.
The role of CEO of BP can be highly lucrative, with Mr Looney said to have enjoyed an 8 figure package, but the role is also a high profile one, with the company and its management under continuous scrutiny from the climate lobby and the media.
That said BP’s share price has been closely correlated with Brent crude prices during 2023 and if the stock price performance starts to lag behind both oil prices, and those of its US peers that could present an opportunity for both investors and BPs deal hungry rivals.