BP picks new chair as Svanberg steps down after guiding board through its "darkest days"

Oliver Gill
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Lund will join BP's board in September before taking up the chairmanship on 1 January 2019 (Source: Getty)

Helge Lund, who masterminded the $70bn (£50bn) sale of BG Group to Royal Dutch Shell, was today picked as BP's next chairman.

Incumbent board chair Carl-Henric Svanberg will formally hand over to Lund on 1 January 2019. Lund will join BP as a non-exec director on 1 September.

Lund was the CEO of BG, which was spun-off from British Gas owner Centrica in 1997, between 2015 and 2016. Prior to that, he was the chief exec of Norweigan firm Statoil – the world's largest offshore energy operator.

Read more: BP is aiming to keep emissions flat in the years to 2025

BP boss Bob Dudley heaped praised on the outgoing Svanberg, saying he had led the board through the UK firm's board through its "darkest days".

"We owe him a debt of gratitude for his strong support and clear vision over the past nine years," he said.

I have known Helge for more than a decade and I am very much looking forward to working with him. With strategic vision and a modern, global perspective, he has a clear understanding of the challenges and the opportunities facing our industry.

Lund said: "BP has come successfully through a challenging period under the strong and committed leadership of Carl-Henric and Bob. I am looking forward to working with Bob and his team as they address the changing energy landscape.”

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