Global – BP, a British oil major has announced that Bernard Looney, 49, currently chief executive, Upstream, will succeed Dudley as group chief executive and join the BP Board on 5 February 2020.

The oil company also revealed that Looney will continue in his current role until this date.

The appointment came after Bob Dudley, 64, decided to step down as group chief executive and from the BP Board.

According to a statement from the oil multinational, Dudley who had had served BP for over 4 decades and over nine years as group chief executive, will retire on 31 March 2020.

Commenting on the announcement, BP Chairman Helge Lund said: “Bob has dedicated his whole career to the service of this industry.”

Lund added that Bob was appointed chief executive at probably the most challenging time in BP’s history.

He further noted that during his tenure, Bob was able to lead the company’s recovery from the Deepwater Horizon accident and helped rebuilt BP as a stronger, safer company.

BP’s board chairman also noted that Bob helped the company re-earn its position as one of the leaders of the energy sector.

On Looney’s appointment, Lund added: “Bernard has all the right qualities to lead us through this transformational era.”

Lund further noted that Lund was “an authentic, progressive leader, with a passion for purpose and people and a clear sense of what BP must do to thrive through the energy transition.”

 “It has been a great pleasure to work with Bob and it is an honour to succeed him as chief executive,” said Bernard Looney.

“I am humbled by the responsibility that is being entrusted to me by the Board and am truly excited about both the role and BP’s future.”

Looney joined BP in 1991 as a drilling engineer and took over as the head of the group’s oil and gas exploration, development and production business worldwide in April 2016.

Dudley, who was appointed to the top job in 2010 following the Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico, will leave after the company’s full-year results on Feb. 4 next year, BP said.