Guided BP through aftermath of Deepwater Horizon disaster

BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg has informed the company’s board of directors of his intention to retire as chairman. The company said Svanberg will chair the annual general meeting to be held in May 2018 and will remain in position until a successor is in post.

Ian Davis, the BP board’s senior independent director, will  lead the process to identify and appoint BP’s next chairman, the company said in a press release today.

Svanberg joined the BP board on 1 September 2009 and became chairman on 1 January 2010.

In a statement, Svanberg said of his eight-year stint at BP: “The first couple of years were incredibly challenging for us all as we navigated an unusually complex corporate crisis,” referring to the Deepwater Horizon Gulf of Mexico platform explosion and oil spill disaster, after which a federal judge granted final approval of BP’s settlement over claims related to the 2010 oil spill in the amount of $20.8 billion. The Deepwater Horizon rig explosion killed eleven workers and millions of gallons of oil spilled into the Gulf.

BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg to Retire, Board Launches Successor Search

BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg has informed the company’s board of directors of his intention to retire as chairman.

“Through that turbulent period we stayed focused on saving and restoring the company,” Svanberg said in a statement. “Today I can say with confidence that BP is back and ready for the future. Our chief executive, Bob Dudley, is the one who, with his team, deserves credit and I am pleased that whoever is fortunate enough to succeed me as chairman will have the opportunity to work with him and his impressive management group. Until then, I look forward to continuing to serve BP and our shareholders.”

Earlier this year Svanberg assured investors that the oil giant had made “appropriate” changes to director pay following a shareholder revolt over chief executive Bob Dudley’s remuneration package last year, according to the Aberdeen Journal, which reported that “Dudley has seen his pay package slashed by 40% for 2016 and his maximum earnings cut by $3.7 million (£3 million) over the next three years in hopes of seeing off a fresh shareholder rebellion.”

Svanberg, a 64-year-old Swedish businessman, spent his early career at Asea Brown Boveri and the Securitas Group, before moving to the Assa Abloy Group as president and chief executive officer. From 2003 until December 2009, he was president and chief executive officer of Ericsson, also serving as the chairman of Sony Ericsson Mobile Communications AB. He was a non-executive director of Ericsson between 2009 and 2012. He was appointed chairman and a member of the board of AB Volvo in April 2012.

He is a member of the External Advisory Board of the Earth Institute at Columbia University and a member of the Advisory Board of Harvard Kennedy School. He is also the recipient of the King of Sweden’s medal for his contribution to Swedish industry.

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