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BP CFO Gilvary to step down in changing of guard at UK major

London — BP's chief financial officer, Brian Gilvary, is to step down this summer in a changing of the guard at the top of the UK oil giant, with CEO Bob Dudley also stepping down next month.

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Dudley and Chairman Helge Lund paid tribute to Gilvary, who in his eight years as CFO helped BP navigate the aftermath of the Macondo oil spill, a fraught exit from Russian joint venture TNK-BP, an oil price collapse, and growing environmental pressures. The company continues to have relatively high debt, with gearing over its targeted upper-limit of 30% at the end of the third quarter, reflecting the cost of the Gulf of Mexico spill, which has ballooned to over $65 billion.

However, BP has explicitly linked the change of CEO from Dudley to Bernard Looney, current upstream chief, to the era of energy transition and need for a fresh approach.

Gilvary will retire from BP on June 30 and be replaced by a top member of his current team, upstream chief financial officer Murray Auchincloss. The latter joined BP with its takeover of Amoco in 1998, having worked for Amoco Canada since 1992. He also sits on the board of Norwegian joint venture Aker BP.

"Gilvary and Auchincloss will work together between now and the end of June to ensure an orderly transition," BP said in a statement.

"We will miss Brian's financial stewardship and strategic insights. He is one of the architects of today's BP, key to its transformation into a safer, simpler and stronger company," Lund said.

The announcement comes as Looney prepares to take over as CEO on February 5, a day after the company's fourth-quarter results presentation.

"BP is in good shape -- strong and ready to face the future with new leadership," Gilvary said.

Looney added he had the "utmost confidence" in Auchincloss as Gilvary's successor.