Bob Dudley, the former chief executive of BP, has bid farewell to the role he has held for 10 years, taking to social media site LinkedIn to say his goodbyes.
“BP today is a very different BP to October 2010, when I took on the job. That is all down to the effort and commitment of 73,000 remarkable people on the BP team,” Dudley said in his message on the social media site, where he is labeled as an influencer.
Dudley took over the reins at the UK supermajor in the wake of the deadly Deepwater Horizon rig explosion and extensive oil spill in the US Gulf of Mexico following a blowout at the Macondo well in 2010.
“Back then, the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon incident threatened BP’s future. We came together, as a team, and we dealt with it. Together, we focused on putting things right in the Gulf of Mexico and stabilising our business. We made changes to avoid anything like it happening again,” he said.
“The progress we’ve made on safety since then makes me proudest of all. In fact, we closed out 2019 with our best performance ever on personal safety,” Dudley wrote.
Dudley’s final duty was announcing the group’s financial results for 2019, which were significantly lower year-on-year amid weaker oil and gas prices.
BP posted a fourth-quarter underlying replacement cost profit of $2.57 billion, down from $3.5 billion a year earlier. Full-year profit slipped from $9.38 billion to $4.02 billion.
Despite the drop, this beat market expectations of a $2.1 billion underlying profit for the quarter, with BP's shares getting a boost in early trade.
The poor results came as the oil price averaged $64.36 per barrel last year, down sharply from an average of just over $71 in 2018.
This week the oil price has fallen to less than $55 a barrel amid investor fears that China’s coronavirus outbreak could dent economic growth in the world’s most energy-hungry nation.
Looking into the future, former BP upstream chief executive Bernard Looney has taken over for Dudley as BP’s focus shifts towards energy transition and increased transparency in the years ahead.
Dudley’s legacy — a “more efficient, more adaptable and more modern” company — is “a solid basis for the next chapter in BP’s long history”, Dudley said.
“I know he’s going to do a great job,” Dudley wrote about Looney. “He is a remarkable leader and exactly the right person for the role that BP needs to play in advancing a rapid low carbon transition.
“He knows the company inside out, having worked for BP since he graduated from university. He’s fired up about making energy cleaner and better, uncompromising on inclusivity and on a mission to tackle the stigma of mental health,” Dudley said about his successor.
Going into retirement after a 40-year career with BP, Dudley’s decision-making days ended with the portent: “I’ve seen a lot of change in the energy system. It’s about to change further and faster than ever, and I will definitely be watching with keen interest.”
BP also announced on Friday that downstream chief executive Tufan Erginbilgic is leaving the company at the end of March.