BP (LON:BP) is set to replace its chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg, The Sunday Times has revealed. The London-listed oil major is believed to be close to triggering a search process, although a formal decision has not yet been taken by the board.
BP’s share price dipped on Friday, shedding 0.84 percent to close at 446.10p, slightly underperforming the broader UK market, with the benchmark FTSE 100 index ending the session 0.26 percent lower at 7,377.60 points. The group’s shares have added a little over three percent to their value over the past year, but are down by some 12 percent in the year-to-date.
The Sunday Times reported yesterday that BP was to call time on chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg’s tenure at the company by hiring headhunters to find a replacement. The Swede took the reins of the group in January 2010, just a few months before the company was pitched into the worst crisis in its history, when the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig exploded, killing 11 workers and triggering the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
Svanberg’s departure could come as soon as BP’s annual shareholder meeting in May and is likely to prolong the tenure of chief executive Bob Dudley. The newspaper notes that possible contenders for the chairman job are thought to include the outgoing HSBC (LON:HSBA) chairman Douglas Flint and Helge Lund, whose tenure as boss of the oil and gas giant BG ended last year when the company was bought by Royal Dutch Shell (LON:RDSA).
“Carl-Henric Svanberg has been BP chairman since 2010 and a director since 2009. Next year will be his 9th annual meeting,” BP said, as quoted by The Sunday Times. “The board is cognisant of the importance of orderly succession planning but no process has been initiated.”
The report comes after news suggested earlier this year that investors had urged the oil major’s directors to prepare for changes to the leadership of the UK’s second biggest oil company.