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BP chief resigns after judge lifts reporting restrictions on his private life

BP chief resigns after judge lifts reporting restrictions on his private life

BP Chief Executive John Browne resigned Tuesday, hours after a judge lifted a legal injunction preventing a newspaper from publishing details of his private life.
The company's board appointed Tony Hayward, who had been set to take over on Aug. 1, as the new chief executive effective immediately, BP said in a statement.
Browne had been fighting since January to suppress details from an interview with a man with whom Browne had had a relationship from being published by the Mail on Sunday newspaper.
"For the past 41 years of my career at BP I have kept my private life separate from my business life. I have always regarded my sexuality as a personal matter, to be kept private," Browne said in a statement.
"It is a matter of personal disappointment that a newspaper group has now decided that allegations about my personal life should be made public."
The company said Browne's decision to resign immediately meant he would lose a bonus of up to 1.3 times his annual salary, worth in total over 3.5 million pounds (euro5.1 million, US$6.9 million). He would also forgo inclusion in the long-term performance share plan for 2007-2009 with a maximum potential value of some 12 million pounds (euro17.6 million, US$23.9 million).
BP shares edged higher after the announcement, rising 0.1 percent to 566 pence (euro8.29; US$11.30) on the London Stock Exchange.
After more than a decade at the helm of BP, Browne _ a close associate of Prime Minister Tony Blair _ announced earlier this year that he would resign at the end of July, bringing his expected departure forward by more than a year.
That came after a series of high-profile mishaps including a deadly refinery blast in Texas and an oil spill in Alaska.
Last week BP, Europe's second-largest oil company, reported a 17 percent drop in first-quarter earnings on lower oil prices and declining production.
Browne's annual performance bonus for last year was cut almost in half as the oil spill and safety lapses in the United States overshadowed record profits for the oil company. But he leaves the firm with a multimillion pound (dollar) payoff and pension.


Updated : 2020-12-05 08:53 GMT+08:00