The FINANCIAL — According to RIA Novosti, Robert Dudley stepped down on December 1 as CEO of TNK-BP, the Russian-British joint oil venture said.
Dudley left Russia in July over what BP alleged was a campaign of harassment by Russian shareholders.
"TNK-BP announced that it had received the resignation of its founding President and CEO, Robert Dudley, in accordance with the memorandum of understanding (MOU) between Alfa Access-Renova and BP in early September. Mr. Dudley's resignation is effective from today, December 1st," the company said on its website.
TNK-BP also announced the appointment of Tim Summers as interim CEO. The post is in addition to his current duties as the company's chief operating officer.
The appointment of a new CEO is currently being discussed by the company's shareholders, as are changes to the charters and boards of directors of TNK-BP Holding and TNK-BP Management.
"I depart TNK-BP after more than five challenging and immensely satisfying years building and leading this unique and progressive Russian oil major", Robert Dudley stated. "I wish the new management team every success in continuing the company's development."
TNK-BP is split 50-50 between BP and the Alfa Access Renova (AAR) consortium of Russian billionaire shareholders, who clashed earlier this year over strategy, management and control of the third-largest oil producer in Russia. Under the deal agreed by the parties, Dudley will leave TNK-BP and will be replaced by an executive from outside BP with extensive Russian experience.
Russian billionaire shareholder Viktor Vekselberg, who is the Renova Group owner and president, said in mid-November that the new head of TNK-BP would be elected before December 11. He said the shortlist included three people, the leading candidate being Denis Morozov, a former head of Russian metals giant Norilsk Nickel.
Britain's Sunday Times reported on October 19 that the other names on the list were thought to be Peter O'Brien, a former Morgan Stanley banker and vice-president of Rosneft, and Pyotr Galitsyn, head of the Russian unit of BASF, the German chemicals group.
However, according to the British paper, Morozov, who worked for around 10 years at Norilsk Nickel, is seen as the frontrunner as he is "a highly respected executive accustomed to running large, oligarch-controlled industrial groups."