Saturday 19 October 2019

Kerryman takes the helm at BP as Murphy gains top post at Tesco

New BP boss Bernard Looney will take over in February (BP / PA)
New BP boss Bernard Looney will take over in February (BP / PA)
Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

Oil giant BP has named Kerryman Bernard Looney as its next chief executive, to succeed Bob Dudley when he retires next year.

Mr Looney is the second Irish person appointed to a high-profile UK corporate job this week.

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On Wednesday, Tesco named Ken Murphy as CEO-in-waiting for when its current boss Dave Lewis steps down from the post next summer.

At BP, Mr Looney was tipped for the role, having been part of the team under Mr Dudley who led a turnaround of the business in the wake of the 2010 Deepwater Horizon industrial disaster and oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The 49-year-old grew up on a small farm in Ashgrove, near Kenmare in Co Kerry, and graduated from University College Dublin (UCD) before joining the oil industry as a drilling engineer and rising through the ranks.

He took charge of BP's oil and gas production, or upstream operations, in 2016.

As CEO, he will be charged with continuing to adapt BP as it transitions to lower-carbon energy under growing pressure from investors to meet climate change targets.

He can also expect to earn some serious money. Mr Dudley's pay package was $14.7m (€13.4m) last year and $15.1m in 2017.

"Bernard is a terrific choice to lead the company next," Mr Dudley, who turned 64 last month, said in a statement.

BP has confirmed that Mr Dudley will retire on March 31.

The heir-apparent at Tesco, Corkman Mr Murphy (52) studied at University College Cork (UCC) and trained as an accountant with Coopers & Lybrand, now part of PwC.

He initially worked with Unichem, then with Procter & Gamble before joining global drug store chain Walgreens Boots Alliance and advancing through its senior ranks.

At Tesco, Mr Murphy will take over from CEO Mr Lewis, who earned £4.6m last year, and will have a basic wage of £1.35m (€1.51m).

Bernard Looney Interview - See page 41

Irish Independent

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