TNK-BP's Dudley resigns; management reorganizes

Robert Dudley has stepped down from his role as president and chief executive of TNK-BP with Tim Summers temporarily succeeding him.

Dec 2nd, 2008

Uchenna Izundu
International Editor

LONDON, Dec. 2 -- Robert Dudley has stepped down from his role as president and chief executive of TNK-BP with Tim Summers temporarily succeeding him.

Dudley's resignation, effective Dec. 1, follows months of wrangling between the company's shareholders—BP PLC and Alfa Access-Renova (AAR)—over control of the company. AAR had accused Dudley of malpractice and of favoring BP (OGJ, Aug. 18, 2008, p. 33). In September, the shareholders signed a memorandum of understanding to reorganize management and dismiss Dudley.

"I wish the new management team every success in continuing the company's development," Dudley said. He ran the company for 5 years and in July left Russia because of pressure from AAR shareholders (OGJ, Aug. 4, 2008, p. 76).

Summers, the incoming chief executive officer, was serving as the company's chief operating officer. He called for a smooth and seamless transition, saying he would focus on delivering a strong performance in 2008 and implementing next year's business plan.

The new chief executive must be Russian. According to reports, possible replacements include former head of mining firm OAO Norilsk Nickel, Denis Morozov, Rosneft Vice-Pres. Peter O'Brian, and Pyotr Golitsyn, ex-chief executive of BASF Russia and current chairman of TMK IPSCO BOD.

According to the MOU, the shareholders also will look at selling as much as 20% of a TNK-BP subsidiary through an initial public offering on the international financial markets. There will be four representatives each from BP and AAR on the board, along with the three new independent directors not affiliated with either side. The company will continue to operate under English law.

Contact Uchenna Izundu at uchennai@pennwell.com.

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