- London-based BP on Tuesday promoted Kate Thomson to the interim CFO post from her current position as the oil company’s senior vice president of finance for production and operations, in which she handles global financial stewardship and commercial partnering.
- The appointment comes after BP promoted its then CFO Murray Auchincloss to the role of interim CEO, filling a leadership vaccum after the abrupt Sept. 12 resignation of CEO Bernard Looney. The company said Looney was not fully transparent in previous disclosures of his past personal relationships with colleagues.
- “Kate’s experience and skills make her ideally suited to take on the role of interim CFO. She brings deep technical knowledge together with a detailed understanding of BP, and has a first-class track record of leadership across our finance function. I look forward to working alongside her as we continue to deliver bp’s strategy,” Auchincloss said in a statement.
Thomson, 55, is the first woman to take the role, Bloomberg reported. Her promotion also makes BP one of several major oil companies with women in the top finance role: Kathryn Mikells is CFO at ExxonMobil and Sinead Gorman is CFO at Shell plc.
A qualified chartered accountant, Thomson worked for Ernst & Young in M&A tax and as group head of tax for Charter plc before joining BP in 2004. At BP she has held a number of senior financial roles, including group treasurer and head of group tax, according to the release.
While Looney’s departure took the market by surprise, the company revealed in its release last week that it had been scrutinizing Looney’s relationships for some time.
Last week the company said the board received and reviewed allegations in May of 2022 relating to Looney’s conduct with respect to personal relationships with company colleagues.
During the review Looney disclosed “a small number orf historical relationships with colleagues prior to becoming CEO” but no breach of the company’s code of conduct was found. The company said further allegations of a similar nature were received recently which the company immediately began investigating.
“Mr Looney has today informed the Company 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 release stated. As of last week no decisions had been made yet with regard to any “remuneration payments” made to Looney.”