BP PLC announced Friday the retirement of CEO John Browne, as of the end of July 2007, and the appointment of Tony Hayward, currently BP’s head of exploration and production, to succeed Browne.
According to Peter Sutherland, BP’s chairman, in the summer of 2006, it was agreed that Browne would stay on as CEO until the end of 2008. In order to provide an orderly transition, Browne decided to name a successor at this time. BP's board has now decided that a six month transition would be more appropriate than waiting 18 months.
As CEO, Browne presided over the company's fivefold increase in its market capitalization to $202.7 billion and profits to $22.3 billion.
Tony Hayward joined BP in 1982, and after filling several positions, was appointed to the main board of BP in 2003, becoming chief executive officer of BP’s exploration and production segment responsible for the group’s assets and operational activities relating to the discovery and production of hydrocarbons.
Browne joined BP in 1966 as a university apprentice, and held various roles, before becoming CEO over a decade ago.