Former BP chief executive Bernard Looney will not receive a £32.4m salary and bonuses package after “serious misconduct”.
In a press release circulated this evening, the company said: “following careful consideration, the board has concluded that, in providing inaccurate and incomplete assurances in July 2022, Mr Looney knowingly misled the board.
“The board has determined that this amounts to serious misconduct, and as such Mr Looney has been dismissed without notice effective on 13 December 2023,” the note continued.
As well as the £32.4m, which primarily consisted of unvested share awards, he will also have to pay back around £1m to the company under a “discretionary clawback”.
Mr Looney resigned with immediate effect on 12 September after failing to fully detail relationships with colleagues.
The company reportedly received allegations from an anonymous source last year about Looney’s personal relationships with fellow company employees – perhaps numbering as many as four past relationships.
The company’s code of conduct does not ban personal relationships, but warns staff about potential conflicts of interest such as “having an intimate relationship with someone whose pay, advancement or management you can influence”.
Upon his resignation, 87 per cent of the total pay package had been “automatically forfeited” with an additional 10 per cent resulting from the board’s decision he should be dismissed following serious misconduct.
The company said the final three per cent “has been clawed back at the discretion of the board”.
The 53-year-old BP-lifer was appointed as CEO in 2020 to navigate the oil giant through the energy transition, succeeding former boss Bob Dudley.
Despite being just three years into the posting, he had received £10m in salary and share compensation last year, up from around £4.5m in 2021, as the cost of living crisis bit the UK.
While at the helm, Looney laid out ambitious plans for the British group to reach net zero by 2050, while investing billions in renewable and low-carbon power.
The Irish businessman also navigated the group through one of the most challenging years in modern history, which saw Covid-19, an energy crisis and the firm’s exit from Russia following Vladimir Putin’s invasion of Ukraine.
Murray Auchincloss, the company’s chief financial officer, has been running the business on an interim basis while a successor is considered.
BP shares initially climbed following Looney’s departure before sliding through mid-October to today.
BP did not immediately respond to request for additional comment.
By Rhodri Morgan via CityAM
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