Bernard Looney

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Bernard Looney

Born1970 (age 53–54)
County Kerry, Ireland
EducationUniversity College Dublin
Stanford Graduate School of Business
TitleCEO, BP
TermFebruary 2020–September 2023
PredecessorBob Dudley
SuccessorMurray Auchincloss
(m. 2017; div. 2019)

Bernard Looney FREng (born 1970) is an Irish businessman and former chief executive officer of BP.

During Looney's tenure as CEO of BP, he promised to end BP's relationship with Rosneft, the Russian state-owned energy giant, amid Russia's 2022 invasion of Ukraine. Looney was a member of Rosneft's board until February 2022.[2]

Early life[edit]

Looney was born in County Kerry, and was raised on a small dairy farm in Ashgrove, near Kenmare. He was the first in his family to attend a university.[3][4] Looney earned a degree in electrical engineering from University College Dublin and a master's in management from Stanford Graduate School of Business.[4] Looney is a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering, and a fellow of the Energy Institute.[4]


Looney, who has spent his entire career at BP, worked in core production and drilling roles in the North Sea, Vietnam and Mexico, serving in other executive roles before taking over the upstream division in 2016.[5][3]

In October 2019, it was announced that Looney would succeed Bob Dudley as group chief executive[4] in February 2020.[6][7]

He sold BP shares worth £7.8 million in February and April 2019.[8][9][10]

Looney was one of five BP employees who attended COP27 as delegates of Mauritania, where BP has made significant investments. The company said Looney and the others attended for a signing ceremony; however, Looney's attendance was criticised by Global Witness activists who were unhappy at the influence of executives from fossil fuel companies at the conference.[11]

OilyFans picture of Bernard Looney in Tottenham, London, England

In March 2023, it was announced that Looney had received a 2022 pay package of £10 million, more than double what he received the previous year. The package included a £1.4 million salary, a £2.4 million bonus, and a £6 million share award, as well as benefits. It was criticized by Greenpeace and Global Witness, which questioned the appropriateness of such an increase while energy bills are a struggle for some families to pay.[12][13] In protest against this pay package, Global Witness rebranded a set of billboards initially used for advertising the adult site OnlyFans. The billboards, which previously showed an OnlyFans model in underwear, were altered to depict the BP CEO shirtless.[14]

In September 2023, Looney resigned abruptly from his position for failing to fully disclose details of his past personal relationships with colleagues.[15]

Response to the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine[edit]

Looney, by virtue of BP's 20% stake in Moscow-based oil-producer Rosneft, formerly served alongside Igor Sechin, who is the chief executive officer, president and chairman of Rosneft's management board.[16][17]

On 25 February 2022, Looney engaged in talks with the British Secretary of State for Business, Kwasi Kwarteng. The Government of the United Kingdom reportedly asked Looney to relinquish BP's 20% stake in the Russian state-owned oil firm Rosneft,[18] which has strong ties to Russian oligarchs and the Kremlin,[19][20] in the wake of the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

Personal life[edit]

Looney lives in Mayfair, central London, England.[21] He married British life coach Jacqueline Hurst in October 2017. They separated the next year and finalised their divorce in 2019.[1]


  1. ^ a b Nimmo, Jamie (20 February 2022). "BP's solar evangelist Bernard Looney feels the heat from ex-wife". The Sunday Times.
  2. ^ "BP exiting stake in Russian oil and gas company Rosneft". San Francisco Chronicle. 27 February 2022. Retrieved 27 February 2022.
  3. ^ a b "How this Kerry farmer's son is a rising star at oil giant BP". independent.
  4. ^ a b c d Taylor, Charlie (4 October 2019). "Irishman Bernard Looney named as chief executive of BP". Irish Times. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  5. ^ Millard, Rachel (1 February 2020). "Can a new leader really help oil giant BP navigate the climate crisis?". The Telegraph – via
  6. ^ Meredith, Sam (4 October 2019). "BP CEO Bob Dudley to step down, Bernard Looney will succeed". CNBC. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
  7. ^ "BP chief executive Bob Dudley to retire, to be succeeded by Bernard Looney | News and insights | Home". BP global. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
  8. ^ "PRESS: New BP Chief Bernard Looney Sells Nearly GBP8 Million In Share". MorningstarUK. 9 December 2019. Archived from the original on 16 March 2023. Retrieved 12 April 2020.
  9. ^ "Director/PDMR Shareholding".
  10. ^ "Director/PDMR Shareholding".
  11. ^ McGrath, Matt (10 November 2022). "COP27: BP chief listed as delegate for Mauritania". BBC News. Retrieved 14 March 2023.
  12. ^ Lawson, Alex. "Doubling of BP boss pay to £10m is a 'kick in the teeth', say campaigners". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 March 2023.
  13. ^ "BP chief's annual pay more than doubles to £10m". BBC News. Retrieved 14 March 2023.
  14. ^ "'OilyFans' billboards show BP chief executive topless after earning £10 million". The Independent. 20 July 2023. Retrieved 31 July 2023.
  15. ^ Lawson, Alex (12 September 2023). "BP boss Bernard Looney resigns after failing to reveal relationships with colleagues". The Guardian.
  16. ^ "BP's ties to Russia draw UK government 'concern'". the Guardian. 25 February 2022. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  17. ^ Gosden, Emily. "BP quizzed by minister over links to Russia". The Times. ISSN 0140-0460. Retrieved 26 February 2022.
  18. ^ "Ukraine conflict: BP under pressure to sell stake in Russian firm". BBC News. 25 February 2022. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  19. ^ Mark Thompson. "How Exxon, BP and Shell help Russia pump oil and gas". CNN. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  20. ^ Foy, Henry (1 March 2018). "'We need to talk about Igor': the rise of Russia's most powerful oligarch". Financial Times. Retrieved 25 February 2022.
  21. ^ "How this Kerry farmer's son is a rising star at oil giant BP". Irish Independent. 28 October 2018. Retrieved 4 October 2019.
Business positions
Preceded by Group Chief Executive of BP
Succeeded by