Who is bp’s new Permanent CEO Murray Auchincloss?

Stepping up from Interim CEO to the Permanent Role, Auchincloss has Worked for bp for More Than 25 Years, Most Recently as CFO

Appointed after four months of acting as interim CEO, Murray Auchincloss is now officially bp’s new CEO.

The Canadian business executive’s formal anointment sees him take over the top job from Bernard Looney, who left the business in September 2023.

With a career at bp spanning a quarter of a century, he steps up from his previous CFO role to take over leadership, a job he held for three years.

Who is Murray Auchincloss, CEO of bp?

Despite Auchincloss assuming the role of CEO at a pivotal time for the business — as it transitions from an international oil company to an integrated energy company — it is not expected that he will make waves or instigate significant change at bp right away.

It took four months for bp’s board to find a replacement for Auchincloss’ predecessor, ultimately landing with Auchincloss who had taken the reins while the hunt for a suitable replacement raged on.

Helge Lund, chair of bp — who headed the search for their next chief — said: “bp’s board has undertaken a thorough and highly competitive process to identify bp’s next CEO, considering a number of high-calibre candidates in detail. The board is in complete agreement that Murray was the outstanding candidate and is the right leader for bp. 

“His assured leadership, focus on performance and delivery and deep understanding of the opportunities and challenges in the energy transition will serve bp well as we continue our disciplined transformation to an integrated energy company.” 

Well-liked Auchincloss has had a relatively quiet career at bp even with him rising through a number of key executive roles — roles which have prepared him to take up one of the highest profile, tireless and challenging roles in the British energy scape. His appointment was somewhat expected as bp has never recruited for the role externally in its 114-year history, but Auchincloss’ previous position as CFO is where question marks have ultimately been raised due to its far-from-conventual progression path.

But his education at the University of Calgary, in the middle of Canada’s oil patch, paired with his familial ties to the energy industry — Auchincloss is a fourth generation energy worker — has perhaps foretold his success in the industry. He started out with Amoco in 1992, which merged with bp six years later, and has worked for the company ever since.

He has cycled his way through a number of roles, rising through the ranks. He has been in executive jobs since 2002 when he became Head of Performance and Planning Upstream, with positions following including Chief of Staff and Upstream CFO before ultimately becoming the entire business’ CFO and, finally, CEO.

As reported in the Financial Times, current and former colleagues have described Auchincloss as an introvert, which further adds to the intrigue as to how he will lead bp moving forward. 

“It’s an honour to lead bp — this is a great company with great people,” Auchincloss said on his appointment. “Our strategy — from international oil company to integrated energy company — does not change. I’m convinced about the significant value we can create.

“Now, more than ever, our focus must remain on delivery – operating safely and efficiently, executing with discipline, and always focusing on returns. This is how we will deliver real benefits for our customers and other stakeholders and continue to grow long-term value for bp’s shareholders.” 

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