Bernard Looney, CEO of BP, speaks during the 2023 CERAWeek by S&P Global conference in Houston, March 7, 2023.
F. Carter Smith | Bloomberg | Getty Images
The chief executive of energy giant BP is set to resign after less than four years on the job, the Financial Times reported Tuesday, citing two people with knowledge of the decision.
Bernard Looney took over as CEO of BP in 2020 after previously leading the company’s Upstream group. When the move was announced, board chair Helge Lund praised Looney as the right choice to lead BP into an era of energy transition.
U.S.-traded shares of BP were up a fraction during mid-afternoon trading Tuesday, giving back almost all of an earlier 2.9% rally.
How shares of BP reacted to a report that CEO Bernard Looney resigned.
Looney took over the role near the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, which led to a sharp sell-off for energy stocks, including BP. The U.S.-traded shares of the company are roughly flat since January 2020.
The company’s most recent quarterly report showed a sharp drop in profit, as oil prices had declined since 2022. BP did however hike its dividend and authorize a stock buyback.
BP also faced pressure from activists and shareholders earlier this year after rolling back some of its emission reduction targets.
Looney told CNBC’s “Squawk Box” on Aug. 1 that the change in targets was due in part to energy security concerns that arose last year. He said the company had also increased its spending on renewables and was pursuing an “and, not or” strategy in connection with energy production sources.
“We believe that’s what the world needs, and we believe that’s what’s good for our shareholders,” Looney said.
The company did not immediately respond to CNBC’s request for comment.