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BP chief executive Bob Dudley to step down next year

BP chief executive Bob Dudley
BP chief executive Bob Dudley

BP boss Bob Dudley is planning to step down next year following a decade at the helm of the energy giant.

“I said a long time ago that around the age of 65 I would” step down, Dudley told reporters on the sidelines of the Russia Energy Week conference in Moscow. Dudley, 64, declined to comment on a possible successor.

Mr Dudley turned 64 last month.

Dudley took over as chief executive officer of BP in 2010 in the wake of the Deepwater Horizon catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico that caused the biggest oil spill in U.S. history and killed 11 people. His tenure has been focused on restoring the company to the position it held before the accident as billions of dollars of penalties and compensation piled up.

As the company started to emerge from the impact of that incident, a once-in-a-generation oil-price collapse started in 2014. That only added to the challenges Dudley faced as he was forced to protect BP’s balance sheet by cutting spending and deferring projects.

The oil major’s shares in London have increased about 14% in the decade Dudley has been at the helm. Speculation about his resignation has been swirling for a while. Sky News reported last month that he’s preparing to leave the company within a year and has held detailed discussions with BP Chairman Helge Lund about his retirement plans.

Lund said at a conference in early September that BP was working on succession plans at all levels of the company.

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