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BP scales back management as it pushes ahead with reorganisation



BP CEO Bernard Looney

BP CEO Bernard Looney

BP CEO Bernard Looney

When BP announced its plans to tackle its carbon emissions in February, it overshadowed another big change: Getting rid of the traditional Big Oil corporate structure split between refining and production.

Those changes are now pressing ahead as its Irish CEO, Bernard Looney, in a memo sent to staff on May 14, said his new leadership team have made big changes as they selected the next layer of management.

The new appointments, called Tier 2, reduces the number of senior managers to around 120 people from 250. The changes take effect from July 1.

"As we welcome our new leadership team, we will sadly be saying farewell to many friends and colleagues," Looney wrote in the memo, which was also disclosed to the media.

On February 12, newly-appointed Looney announced that BP's upstream and downstream businesses would be replaced by 11 teams that would be more focused and integrated. The reorganisation is expected to be finalised by the end of the year.

The new structure will make the company smaller and nimbler, Looney said, without specifying where any cuts would fall.

Some of the new appointments have been made to eliminate overlapping roles. For example, David Lawler, who serves as the head of US business BPX Energy, will also take on Susan Dio's role as country chair when she retires.

Turmoil in the oil markets has prompted other companies to make changes as they cope with disruption to demand caused by the coronavirus pandemic. Royal Dutch Shell is offering voluntary redundancies, among other measures, in a bid to make the company leaner, according to people with knowledge of the matter. US firms Chevron and Marathon Oil are among others laying off employees.

Looney said that he would provide more information on the company's jobs plan in June.

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