New BP chief executive Bernard Looney, due to take over the top role next month, is already preparing changes for the supermajor as the focus shifts towards energy transition and transparency in the years ahead.
Over the weekend, Looney introduced himself on social media platforms, paying tribute to outgoing chief executive Bob Dudley.
Dudley took over as chief executive of BP after the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill in the US Gulf of Mexico in April 2010. His exit will bring to a close a 40-year career at the UK giant, nine of which he spent as chief executive.
Looney, an Irish national, has been head of the upstream division since 2016 having joined BP in 1991. He spent 11 years in production and drilling roles in the North Sea, Vietnam and US Gulf, and also worked as vice president of Norway and North Sea infrastructure, executive vice president of developments and chief operating officer of production.
Joining LinkedIn, Looney said: “In a couple of weeks, I will be starting a new role as BP’s chief executive. I have enormous shoes to fill; Bob Dudley, our current chief executive, has done an extraordinary job and leaves the company in excellent shape.
“It’s now up to us as a business to work through the energy transition, and it is not a task I take lightly. I would like to use LinkedIn not just to talk to you, but also to listen and understand your thoughts, concerns and interests.
“I hope this channel can be a two-way dialogue where we can learn from each other. With that in mind, and ahead of some big weeks for the company, I look forward to speaking with you all!” Looney wrote, inviting comments from industry figures, including representative of ExxonMobil, Oceaneering and Shell to name a few.
As the world and investors focus on energy transition and climate change mitigation, BP is expected to announce its plans to tackle the growing energy demand with low carbon supply sources.
Looney said on Instagram, a photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook, that he aims to “talk openly about that and explain the role BP can play”.
On Instagram, a platform predominantly used by the Millennials generation — those born between the early 1980s and mid-1990s to early 2000s — comments were open to a wider non-industry-focused audience, drawing in fewer welcoming messages, and more criticism about BP’s previous lobbying efforts against climate change.
Nevertheless, in an effort to improve transparency and communications, Looney (or his social media team) has already started engaging with its audience on social media, and said, he aims to continue to do so.
“I look forward to sharing what I am up to, who I am meeting and offering a window into the decision, challenges and opportunities that are ahead,” Looney said.
“I know a lot of people have views on oil and gas companies and our role in the energy transition. I would like to use this platform to talk openly about that and explain the role BP can play, as I believe we share the same concerns and hopes. I want to use Instagram not just as a platform to talk but also listen and understand your thought, concerns and interests.
“I encourage you all to be candid – I consider honest and open discussion crucial. Its what care about and what I hope I can promote here. With that in mind, I look forward to speaking with you all,” Looney said.
BP is expected to reports its end year results on the 4 February, when more details on its upcoming energy transition plans are expected.