BP head Bob Dudley to step down after nearly a decade as CEO

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BP Chief Executive Officer Bob Dudley will step down next year after spending nearly a decade at the oil major’s helm, the company said.

Dudley, who held various roles in the company during his 40-year career, will be replaced by BP’s production unit head Bernard Looney.

Dudley, 64, is best known for his handling of the company during the Deepwater Horizon rig accident.

In 2010, an offshore rig owned and operated by Transocean and drilling for BP off the Louisiana coast suffered an explosion and a subsequent fire that resulted in the sinking of the rig and the deaths of 11 workers. The same blowout also caused an oil well fire and a massive offshore oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico – widely considered to be the largest environmental disaster in US history.

“During his tenure he has led the recovery from the Deepwater Horizon accident, rebuilt BP as a stronger, safer company and helped it re-earn its position as one of the leaders of the energy sector,” BP Chairman Helge Lund said in a statement on Friday.

Dudley lead the company into new markets, including Mauritania and Senegal, and inked a $10.5 billion deal with BHP Billiton for its US shale assets last year. Shares of the company have risen more than 15 percent on the London Stock Exchange since Dudley took over in 2010.

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