Following ‘highly competitive’ search, interim CEO becomes BP’s new boss

UK-headquartered energy giant BP has decided to move its interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO) to the CEO role, after undertaking a search process to find the right candidate for the position.

Murray Auchincloss, BP' new CEO; Source: BP

Following the resignation of Bernard Looney from the CEO role, BP appointed Murray Auchincloss as its interim CEO in September 2023. The company has now decided to hand the CEO reins to Auchincloss with immediate effect. He will continue being a member of the BP board.  With a degree in finance from the University of Calgary, Auchincloss is a Chartered Financial Analyst and a member of the Aker BP board.

According to the UK energy giant, this appointment has been made following “a robust and competitive” search process, carried out by the board over the past four months with support from international search advisers, which included detailed consideration of a range of candidates, including those outside BP. 

Helge Lund, Chair of BP, remarked: “Since September, BP’s board has undertaken a thorough and highly competitive process to identify BP’s next CEO, considering a number of high-caliber candidates in detail. The board is in complete agreement that Murray was the outstanding candidate and is the right leader for BP.

“Many already know Murray well, and few know BP better than he does. His assured leadership, focus on performance and delivery, and deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges in the energy transition will serve BP well as we continue our disciplined transformation to an integrated energy company.”

Before getting the interim CEO role in September 2023, Auchincloss was BP’s Chief Financial Officer. In July 2020, he joined BP’s board. Previously, he served as CFO, deputy CFO, and Head of Business Development for BP’s Upstream segment. From 2010-2013 Auchincloss was Head of the firm’s Group Chief Executive’s office, working directly with Bob Dudley.

Commenting on the appointment, Auchincloss said: “It’s an honor to lead BP – this is a great company with great people. Our strategy – from international oil company to integrated energy company, or IOC to IEC – does not change. I’m convinced about the significant value we can create.

“Now, more than ever, our focus must remain on delivery – operating safely and efficiently, executing with discipline, and always focusing on returns. This is how we will deliver real benefits for our customers and other stakeholders and continue to grow long-term value for BP’s shareholders.”

Auchincloss’ remuneration arrangements will include an annual salary of £1.45 million; provisions relating to bonus opportunity, bonus deferral, and performance shares under BP’s 2023 remuneration policy as approved by shareholders; and a cash allowance in lieu of pension equal to 20% of base salary, per the firm’s remuneration policy and aligned with the majority of the wider UK workforce.

BP is working on multiple hydrocarbon and green energy projects. Recently, the UK giant welcomed the arrival of a floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) unit destined for its Greater Tortue Ahmeyim (GTA) liquefied natural gas (LNG) project off the coasts of Mauritania and Senegal.