PETROLEUM EXECUTIVE OF THE YEAR 2018
Dudley was appointed Group Chief Executive of BP in October 2010, less than six months after the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the US Gulf of Mexico, and immediately took steps to ensure the company could meet its commitments to compensate those affected, while also acting to improve safety management with the establishment of a dedicated Safety and Operational Risk unit.
“Bob Dudley has provided calm and effective leadership for BP during a period of unprecedented risk following the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster,” said Jim Washer, Executive Editor of Energy Intelligence. “He skilfully steered BP through the legal, financial and political challenges that ensued from the tragedy, and has led the company’s recovery as it rebuilt its reputation and returned to growth. His selection as this year’s winner of the Petroleum Executive of the Year award reflects the respect of his peers for the grace under pressure he has shown during seven uniquely challenging years at the helm.”
Dudley took tough decisions on asset sales, and led an overhaul of BP’s strategy, focusing investment on higher-value growth projects. This approach supported the company’s response to the fall in oil prices in 2014, and is now delivering growth.
The other great challenge of Dudley’s tenure has been Russia, where he managed difficult relations with BP’s former partners in the TNK-BP joint venture, and oversaw the building of a new strategic partnership with state-controlled Rosneft during a period of strained relations between Moscow and the West.
Dudley’s career began in 1979 with Amoco, where he held a series of engineering and commercial positions before moving into a corporate development role in Russia in the 1990s. Following the merger with BP in 1999, Dudley held various group vice-president positions before becoming chief executive of the TNK-BP joint venture in 2003. On his return to BP in 2009 he was appointed to the BP board with responsibility for the company’s activities in the Americas and Asia.
Dudley is a graduate of the University of Illinois, and also holds a Masters in International Management from the Thunderbird School of Global Management at Arizona State University and an MBA from Southern Methodist University. He is also a fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering and, since 2013, a member of the board of Rosneft.