Looney accused of promoting BP women with whom he had undisclosed relationships

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The allegations that prompted Bernard Looney’s resignation from BP included an accusation that the chief govt promoted women with whom he had undisclosed previous relationships, in accordance with folks acquainted with the matter.

The romantic relationships with BP colleagues which are in query all allegedly occurred earlier than Looney grew to become chief govt in 2020 however had not been disclosed to the corporate, the folks mentioned.

Looney’s abrupt departure earlier this month has rocked the 113-year-old British power group, elevating questions over the quantity and nature of his office relationships in addition to his conduct whereas on the helm of the corporate.

In a response to the Financial Times, BP mentioned that appointments and promotions on the firm observe “rigorous hiring and talent management processes” and that no worker, together with the chief govt, is ready to make unilateral appointments.

“These include detailed role descriptions, interviews with diverse hiring panels, third party assessments and diverse candidate slates,” BP mentioned. “Promotions and appointments are not made solely at the behest of any single executive or individual.”  

When BP introduced Looney’s departure on September 12, it mentioned he had resigned after failing to confide in the board “details of all relationships” throughout an earlier overview. That inquiry adopted an nameless grievance about Looney’s romantic relationships obtained by the board in May 2022. The board investigated the allegations and located that none of the relationships had breached BP’s code of conduct.

During the 2022 overview, the board held intensive discussions with Looney, through which he acknowledged 4 previous relationships with colleagues and warranted the board in writing he had nothing additional to reveal, folks with data of that course of mentioned.

The most up-to-date allegations had been made in September by a feminine BP whistleblower and recognized additional relationships that Looney had not beforehand disclosed, folks with data of the grievance mentioned.

Current and former BP workers, significantly these based mostly at its London headquarters, have mentioned that Looney’s historical past of romantic relationships with colleagues had been quietly mentioned by workers for years. Looney joined BP in 1991 aged 21 and was married from 2017 to 2019.

The firm’s publicly out there code of conduct doesn’t ban private relationships with colleagues however does flag them as a possible battle of curiosity.

Murray Auchincloss, who changed Looney as interim chief, is in a relationship with a BP worker that was disclosed on the time Auchincloss grew to become chief monetary officer in 2020, BP has mentioned.

BP declined to touch upon the character of the allegations towards Looney and referred to its September assertion. “We have no further comment on this beyond that statement and will continue to respect the privacy of a confidential process and of individuals.”

A spokesperson for Looney mentioned the previous BP chief govt was unavailable for remark.

BP has considerably elevated the quantity of women serving in senior roles on the firm lately. Seven of the 11 folks on BP’s management crew are women, up from two out of 13 folks in 2019, whereas a couple of third of the highest 300 management roles on the firm are additionally held by women.

Auchincloss has advised workers and buyers that BP’s technique stays unchanged. A course of to nominate a everlasting alternative for Looney is ongoing.

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