British multinational oil and gas firm BP plc said its CEO Bernard Looney has resigned with immediate effect.
Murray Auchincloss, the company’s CFO, will act as CEO on an interim basis, the company said on Tuesday on its website.
The oil giant said its board had recently started an investigation into alleged relationships Looney had with colleagues, the second in two years.
Looney admitted that he now accepts that he was not fully transparent in his previous disclosures. He did not provide details of all relationships and accepts he was obligated to make more complete disclosure, the statement said.
Looney took over as CEO in early 2020 and soon after, he had set out a strategy to make the oil major net zero by 2050.
Citi Research said in a note that Looney's departure is a loss in that he has been an engaging leader; a new CEO will have tough shoes to fill. However, as Looney's New Energy pivot looks set and is backed by the board, it is unlikely to change, the note said.
"Our analysis points to bp’s New Energy activities as being profitable—and scalable—enough to constitute some 25% of company earnings by 2030. This compares to maybe 10% under the old renewables-heavy approach. Yes, 25% is still the minority business (the rest is still oil and gas), but we continue to think there is a place in the equity market for a large oil company that can demonstrate a viably economic pathway towards re-shaping its business into lower carbon energy," analyst Alastair R Syme said.
(Writing by Brinda Darasha; editing by Seban Scaria)