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BP’s top executive in the US is leaving the company, the oil giant told staff on Friday just weeks after the resignation of the company’s global chief executive Bernard Looney.
Dave Lawler, who has served as chair and president of BP America since July 2020, is leaving the company to pursue other interests, according to an internal memo sent to employees on Friday.
“We wanted to share that after nine years of service, Dave Lawler, chairman and president of BP America & CEO of BPX Energy, has notified us of his intent to pursue new career opportunities outside of BP,” said the memo, which was seen by the Financial Times.
Lawler is being replaced as head of BP America by Orlando Alvarez, who will continue in his role as senior vice-president gas and power trading. Kyle Koontz, BPX Energy’s current vice-president development, will take over as the division’s chief executive.
Lawler, who also served as chief executive of BP’s US onshore division bpx energy, was responsible for more than 30,000 US employees. Since 2005 BP has invested more than $140bn in the country, where it has a larger economic footprint than anywhere else in the world.
The resignation of Lawler comes at a time of leadership turmoil for BP, which is reeling after the abrupt departure of Looney on September 13. Looney resigned as chief executive after admitting he had failed to disclose the extent of past personal relationships with colleagues, according to the company.
He was replaced by Murray Auchincloss, the oil major’s chief financial officer, “on an interim basis”.
Looney’s departure has rocked the 113-year-old energy group, which is one of the most recognised names in British business. Looney joined BP in 1991 aged 21 and has spent his entire career at the company. He was appointed chief executive in 2020 to transform the oil producer into an integrated energy company and navigate the energy transition.
One of his first big decisions was to appoint Lawler to head BP’s US operations.
Lawler joined BP in 2014 from SandRidge Energy, a US-based oil and gas company, where he had served as executive vice-president and chief operating officer.
Andrew Gillick, a managing director at energy consultancy Enverus, said the loss of Lawler just two weeks after BP’s chief executive had stepped down was a big blow for the company.
“His leadership through the last three tumultuous years has positioned BP to simultaneously be a leader in the traditional and transition energy space,” he said.