The Great Debate UK

Never mind oil, BP runs low on directors



– Neil Collins is a Reuters columnist. The opinions expressed are his own –

LONDON, April 8 (Reuters) – BP has undergone a critical period of self-assessment over the last four years. The chairman, no less, says so in the oil company’s annual report.

Peter Sutherland’s assertion might be tested at next week’s annual meeting, following the departure from the board of Tom McKillop as penance for being caught in the chair when Royal Bank of Scotland collapsed.

Big companies can rise above such isolated setbacks, but BP seems particularly prone to them. Just when it seemed that the change of chairman was going to be unusually smooth, the knives came out for Paul Skinner, and his transfer from Rio Tinto was off. Sutherland promised not to stay on for more than another year, and pledged to “refresh” the board.