By Tom Bergin
LONDON Jan 30 BP said it was making ten senior
management changes in a reorganization of its core oil and gas
production unit, continuing a reversal of the structure adopted
in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
The move is the latest in BP's struggle to return to normal
as it continues to tackle legal challenges in the United States
and a share price a long way short of its pre-spill levels.
Lamar McKay, Head of the Upstream division, which finds and
pumps oil and gas, told staff of the changes in a series of
emails seen by Reuters.
A spokesman confirmed the emails, which were sent on
Tuesday, and said the changes reflected McKay's desire to put
together his own leadership team for the division which is
responsible for most of BP's profits.
The restructuring follows McKay's appointment late last
year. From Dudley's appointment as CEO in Oct. 2010 until McKay
took up his job, Dudley had overseen the oil exploration and
production operations, which in turn had been arranged into
three different operating units.
"Dudley felt that upstream had become too independent before
the spill. Now he probably feels he doesn't need to keep such a
close eye on it," said one analyst who asked not to be named.
U.S. government reports blamed poor risk management by BP,
and some mistakes by its contractors, for the April 2010 rig
blast that killed 11 men and led to the oil spill.
Analysts and industry peers said BP's practice of giving oil
field and refinery managers a high degree of independence in how
they hit targets had contributed to its weak risk management.
Dudley reduced this independence and a spokesman said the
practice of having tight, global reporting lines for functions
As part of the changes, former head of the now abolished
developments group, Bernard Looney, 42 -- tipped by some
internally as a possible future leader of the company -- becomes
Chief Operating Officer, Production.
Former head of the Production grouping, Bob Fryar, 49, has
moved out of Upstream to become group head of safety, replacing
Mark Bly, 55, who is retiring.