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BP Mandates Disclosure of Intimate Relationships Following CEO Scandal

TL;DR intro

  • BP's Policy Update:BP has updated its conflicts of interest policy, requiring all employees to disclose intimate relationships with colleagues or risk dismissal.
  • Former CEO's Dismissal:The policy change follows the sacking of former CEO Bernard Looney for failing to disclose such relationships.
  • Reporting Deadline:Top managers have three months to report all intimate relationships from the past three years.

BP employees must disclose any intimate relationships with colleagues or risk losing their jobs, according to a new policy update announced on Monday. This change comes in the wake of former CEO Bernard Looney's dismissal for failing to disclose intimate relationships.

Policy Update Details

The updated conflicts of interest policy, communicated to BP staff via email last week, underscores the company's ongoing response to Looney's sudden departure last September. The new policy prohibits employees from directly or indirectly managing relatives or those with whom they have an intimate relationship. Failure to comply with these requirements will result in disciplinary action, including potential dismissal.

Thousands of BP's senior leaders are now required to declare any intimate relationships with employees or agency workers that have occurred within the last three years. These declarations must be made within a three-month grace period ending on September 1. This stricter policy forms part of BP's code of conduct.

Background of the Policy Change

Previously, BP employees were required to disclose and record relationships only if they perceived a potential conflict of interest. The updated policy now mandates the disclosure of all intimate relationships at work, regardless of perceived conflicts.

BP confirmed the policy update in an emailed statement: "Employees were previously required to disclose and record such relationships if they felt there could be a conflict of interest. Now they are required to disclose intimate relationships at work, whether or not they feel they represent a conflict of interest."

The policy change follows an investigation into Looney's conduct by the law firm Freshfields earlier this year. Although BP has not disclosed the findings of this investigation, it concluded with the decision to dismiss Looney and reclaim up to $40 million of his remuneration.

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Impact and Reactions

The dismissal of Bernard Looney has had significant repercussions for BP. Since his departure, BP's shares have dropped by over 11%, underperforming compared to its rivals amid ongoing investor concerns over the company's energy transition strategy.

Murray Auchincloss, who became CEO in January, has aimed to stabilize the company by promising to boost returns. Auchincloss had previously disclosed his own relationship with a BP employee before his promotion to chief financial officer in 2020.

Implications for Employees

The new policy reflects BP's commitment to ensuring transparency and mitigating conflicts of interest within the company. The emphasis on senior leaders disclosing past relationships highlights their significant influence within the organization. BP's board is keen to adopt lessons learned from the Looney scandal to prevent future issues.

"The policy requires conflicts of interest to be disclosed, recorded, and - where appropriate - mitigated," BP said. "Familial and intimate relationships at work can constitute a conflict of interest."

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As the company seeks to restore trust and ensure transparency, this policy aims to prevent conflicts of interest and maintain integrity within the organization. With the grace period for declarations ending on September 1, it remains to be seen how this policy will impact BP's internal dynamics and overall corporate culture.

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