Bernard Looney is out as CEO of BP after failing to fully disclose personal relationships with colleagues, the company said Tuesday.
“Mr. Looney has today informed the Company that he now accepts that he was not fully transparent in his previous disclosures,” BP said in a press release. “He did not provide details of all relationships and accepts he was obligated to make more complete disclosure.”
The release said BP’s board received allegations in May 2022 from an anonymous source regarding Looney’s behavior regarding personal relationships with others at the company, and that the CEO revealed a “small number” of past relationships with BP colleagues at the time.
“However, the Board sought and was given assurances by Mr. Looney regarding disclosure of past personal relationships, as well as his future behaviour,” the release reads. “Further allegations of a similar nature were received recently, and the Company immediately began investigating with the support of external legal counsel. That process is ongoing.”
Looney, 53, started his career at BP at the age of 21 and rose to CEO in 2020, according to the Financial Times, which first reported his departure. As chief executive, he vowed to reinvent the 114-year-old company with plans for the British energy giant to achieve zero net emissions by 2050, and to invest billions in renewable and low-carbon power.
Leaders failing to disclose personal relationships with colleagues or even engaging in them at all is a deal-breaker for many companies, and other CEOs have left their posts over similar circumstances in recent years.
McDonald’s ousted former CEO Steve Easterbook in 2019 for engaging in a “consensual relationship with an employee,” and former Intel CEO Brian Krzanich stepped down in 2018 after the semiconductor manufacturer found out he had a “past relationship with an Intel employee.”
Reuters contributed to this report.