BP’s downstream chief executive Iain Conn is leaving the British supermajor as he holds talks with Centrica on becoming the UK utility's next chief executive.
BP said that Conn would leave his post on 1 October but stay with the company and continue to sit on its board of directors until 31 December.
It has been rumoured in recent weeks that Conn could be in the frame to replace Sam Laidlaw, who announced in April he would step down by the end of the year as Centrica chief executive.
Centrica confirmed to Upstream that “it has been, and continues to be, in discussions with Iain about the possibility of him succeeding Sam Laidlaw as CEO of Centrica”.
The spokeswoman said that UK gas player’s board has been working on succession planning and conducting extensive searches for a replacement to Laidlaw since he announced his plans to step down in April.
Centrica reports its second quarter results on 31 July.
BP chief executive Bob Dudley said Conn had “led the repositioning of BP’s Downstream business over the past few years, transforming and greatly strengthening both its portfolio and performance – financially and also in terms of safety and operations”.
The 51-year-old has worked for BP for 29 years and has led the downstream business’s division trio of fuels, lubricants and petrochemicals for the past seven years.
BP’s chief operating officer for its fuels business Tufan Erginbilgic is to take over the downstream leadership on 1 October.
An engineer by training 54-year-old Erginbilgic has also previously led the lubricants business as part of a 17-year stint with BP that was preceded by work for Mobil beginning in 1990.
Conn was also group regional leader for Europe and Asia, a post to be assumed by BP’s executive vice president for strategy and regions Dev Sanyal.