Chief Executive Officer, BP
Bernard Looney was appointed chief executive officer in February 2020. He previously ran BP’s upstream business from April 2016 and has been a member of the company’s executive management team since November 2010.
As chief executive of upstream, Bernard was responsible for BP’s oil and gas exploration, development, and production activities worldwide. The upstream segment included some 17,000 people operating across almost thirty countries producing around 2.6 million barrels equivalent of oil and gas a day.
In this role, Bernard oversaw improvements in both process and personal safety performances, and production grew by twenty percent. There were also significant improvements in both gender and global diversity. Bernard initiated a group-wide dialogue on mental health in hope of ‘ending the stigma’ associated with the issue – a subject he remains passionate about today.
He led access into new countries, high-graded the portfolio, and created innovative new business models.
Bernard also encouraged BP to lead on methane detection methods as well as driving sustainable emissions reductions of almost three million tons CO2 equivalent over two years.
In earlier upstream executive roles, he was responsible for all BP-operated oil and gas production worldwide and for all of BP’s drilling and major project activity. He led the creation of central drilling and projects functions following the Deepwater Horizon accident.
Bernard joined BP in 1991 as a drilling engineer and worked in operational roles in the North Sea, Vietnam, and the Gulf of Mexico, including as drilling engineer on the discovery of the giant Thunder Horse field. After a period in BP Alaska, he became head of the group CEO’s office, working directly for BP CEOs Lord Browne and then Tony Hayward.
An Irish citizen, Bernard grew up in County Kerry and in 1991 gained a degree in electrical engineering from University College Dublin. In 2005, he gained a master of science in management from Stanford Graduate School of Business.
Bernard is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the Energy Institute and is also a mentor in the FTSE 100 Cross-Company Mentoring Executive Programme. He was elected a director of Rosneft in June 2020.
Bernard has spent his career at BP demonstrating dynamic leadership and vision as he progressed through various roles within the company. As part of the CEO appointment process, Bernard exceeded at a range of aptitude and psychometric testing. During his ten years as the leader of upstream, Bernard saw the segment through one of the most difficult periods in BP’s history, helping transform the company into a safer, stronger, and more resilient business. He was instrumental in a number of workforce-based initiatives to promote a diverse and inclusive environment.
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