City A.M. Reporter
OIL giant BP said the candidate proposed by its oligarch partners to lead their Russian joint venture, TNK-BP, had won out over BP’s candidate and that oligarch Mikhail Fridman would stay at the helm until 2011.<br /><br />BP and AAR, a consortium representing the billionaire co-owners, said Maxim Barsky, currently TNK-BP’s executive vice president for strategy and business development, would become CEO, effective 1 January 2011.<br /><br />Analysts said Barsky’s appointment, which has been expected for weeks, highlighted how the Russian partners, previously largely sleeping partners in TNK-BP, had wrested operational control of the company from BP. The last permanent head of the company, Robert Dudley, left Russia with a number of other expatriate workers at the height of a battle for control of TNK-BP between BP and AAR in summer 2008.<br /><br />That row ended with BP agreeing to give its billionaire partners more control at TNK-BP.<br /><br />When Dudley stepped down, Tim Summers, until recently the firm’s chief operating officer, became acting CEO. Fridman, ranked Russia’s fourth-richest businessman by Forbes, was appointed interim CEO in May. Under the terms of the shareholder agreement between the two sides, BP has the right to nominate TNK-BP’s CEO. It nominated Pavel Skitovich, who with Barksy took up roles in TNK-BP in May.