Who Is The CEO of BP?

14/12/2018 08:00 | Franchise CEO

bp ceo

Any UK driver will instantly recognise BP’s iconic green and yellow logo, and the company remains one of the most well-known and reputable oil producers in the world. However, not many consumers know who runs the business and who is responsible for its future. Here, we take a look at the BP CEO and what he’s achieved during his tenure.

The BP organisation

The British Petroleum Company plc – more commonly known as BP – is one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies and boasts the 12th highest turnover of any business in the world. Part of the unofficial group of seven “supermajors,” all of whom operate in the oil and gas industry, it controls every aspect of the energy process – from exploration and production, through refinement, to power generation and retail.

The company operates in more than 70 countries and produces approximately 3.6 million barrels of oil a day. It has a significant presence in the United States, which is now home to its largest division, and also owns a significant share in Rosneft, the world’s largest oil producer and one of Russia’s most influential businesses. Through much of the world, BP garages and service stations are a common feature of motorway and road networks.

A brief history of BP

The birth of BP can be traced back to the establishment of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company and the discovery of the first significant oil deposits in the Middle East – a development that would irrevocably alter the future of the region, as well as much of the globe.

Over a period that spanned two world wars, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company expanded at a remarkable rate and became a significant player in both UK domestic politics and across the entire Middle East region. This was typified by events that include the company becoming responsible for providing fuel for the British navy, the development of the first refineries in the UK, the prospecting of vast swathes of the Middle East, and involvement in an Iranian embargo that resulted in the Western powers executing a coup d’état.

In 1954, the Anglo-Persian Oil Company became the British Petroleum Company. The years immediately following this change were exemplified by expansion into new markets outside of the Middle East. BP acquired or partnered with smaller oil producers in Canada, Libya, Nigeria, Alaska, and the US more widely. However, the 1960s were also a challenging period for the business – by making risky business acquisitions, the company was able to generate enormous profits but was also responsible for some of the biggest man-made disasters of the era. The foundering of the Torrey Canyon tanker in 1967 remains Britain’s biggest ever oil spill.

In 1979, the UK government sold a large portion of its shares in the business. UK Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher would continue this process of privatisation by selling off the government’s remaining shares in ‘89. The business sustained growth over the next two decades but also faced growing pressure from environmental lobbyists and had to take responsibility for many disasters. The Texas City Refinery explosion and the Deepwater Horizon oil spin are both significant blemishes on the company’s safety record and reputation. Over the last decade, the company also looked to diversify into solar power technology, though oil and gas remain its most significant field of operations.

Who is the CEO of BP?

The current CEO of BP is Robert Dudley. Born in Queens, New York, Mr Dudley moved around the US as a child, living and growing up in many different places. While he spent a considerable time during his youth in Mississippi, he attended high school on the outskirts of Chicago. He then went on to study chemical engineering at the University of Illinois.

After graduating, Robert Dudley earned a Masters degree in international management, before joining the Amoco oil company. He spent some time working for the company in Moscow and he continued to work in Russia after BP acquired Amoco in 1998.

Robert Dudley’s work at BP

When Mr Dudley finally moved on from his position with BP in Russia, it was to become President and CEO of TNK-BP. He held this position for five years, from 2003-2008, being selected for the role due to the experience and expertise he acquired in Russia. However, Dudley’s relationship with his Russian counterparts was quickly tested and eventually stretched to breaking point. In 2008, he fled the country when his visa was not renewed. He later admitted that he felt his life was in danger.

BP rewarded his work in the east by making him a managing director and shifting his focus westwards, towards the Americas. In 2010, he became CEO of BP's Gulf Coast Restoration Organisation and tasked with managing the oil leakage in the Gulf of Mexico. Later that year, it was announced that he would take over from Tony Hayward as BP's CEO. Mr Dudley's tenure has widely been perceived as successful, so far. However, shareholder disquiet in 2016 after BP posted its worst-ever losses did result in a salary cut. In 2017 and 2018, the company bounced back, and Dudley's salary rose by 13% to approximately $13.4 million.

What does the future hold for BP?

Over the last two decades, BP has attempted to demonstrate its commitment to increasing investment in renewable energy. However, it still expects oil to be enormously profitable for the next 20-30 years. Even after this period, oil consumption will decrease slowly, providing the company with plenty of time to alter its strategy.

The company has made some investments in solar companies, including the purchasing of Lightsource Renewable Energy Ltd. for $200 million. It’s also thought that a reduction in the use of single-use plastics and packaging will lower the demand for oil in the immediate future.

That being said, BP is confident that its status as one of the world's largest companies is protected and that its future is bright. It continues to offer franchising opportunities to suitable candidates and remains one of the most profitable business ventures available to would-be franchisees.

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