Dudley to resign as TNK-BP top executive

Robert Dudley will resign as CEO of TNK-BP under an agreement signed by BP and its partners in the Russian firm, Mikhail Fridman, Viktor Vekselberg, and Len Blavatnik, known collectively as AAR.

Eric Watkins
Oil Diplomacy Editor

LOS ANGELES, Sept. 4 -- Robert Dudley will resign as chief executive officer of TNK-BP under an agreement signed by BP PLC and its partners in the Russian firm, Mikhail Fridman, Viktor Vekselberg, and Len Blavatnik, known collectively as AAR.

In addition to Dudley's resignation, which will take effect at yearend, the agreement will see the TNK-BP board enlarged to 11 members from 10, with four representatives each from BP and AAR along with three independent directors. A TNK-BP unit may also list shares on international markets.

BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward described the deal as "a sensible means of resolving a situation that could not continue without causing serious damage." The agreement follows months of dispute over strategy between BP and AAR.

Claiming that Dudley did not represent their interests, the AAR investors had long campaigned for a new chief executive at TNK-BP. In July, Dudley was forced to leave Russia after being denied a new visa. He has been running the firm from the UK (OGJ Online, Aug. 25, 2008).

Contact Eric Watkins at hippalus@yahoo.com.

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