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Kerry man named as new boss of BP…and a Cork man named head of Tesco

Kerry man Bernard Looney, the new incoming boss of energy giant BP (LEFT) and Harvard-educated Corkman Ken Murphy is to be the new boss at Tesco.

Kerry man Bernard Looney, 49, has been named as the new incoming boss of energy giant BP.

He will succeed Bob Dudley who has been BP’s chief executive since 2010.

Mr Looney is described as a tech-savvy BP ‘lifer’ with a reputation as a strategic thinker.

He grew up on a farm in Kerry and was the first in his family to go to university. 

The Financial Times said he is widely liked and respected, and that the company had been seeking a “modern” leadership style, away from the autocratic tough guy approach that dominates the oil industry.

It will fall to him to decide in which direction to take the company as it prepares its next five-year strategy beginning in 2021. 

He was formally selected at a board meeting last week, beating another internal candidate, financial officer Brian Gilvary, for the job.

Since 2016 he has headed BP’s exploration and production business after operational jobs around the world. 

He was an executive assistant to former chief executive John Browne and also worked under Tony Hayward. 

He was part of BP’s response to the devastating Gulf of Mexico oil leak from the Deepwater Horizon.

 “It was, without doubt, the most challenging time of my career,” he told the Irish Independent last year. 

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Tech-savvy Mr Looney is seen as an energetic and fresher face to guide the company and its next generation of employees through this uncertain future. 


Harvard-educated Corkman Ken Murphy is to be the new boss at Tesco.

The accountant, a senior executive at the owners of high street pharmacist Boots, Walgreen Boots Alliance, will succeed outgoing Tesco Chief Executive Dave Stewart next summer.

Mr Lewis led the grocery giant to recovery after a 2014 accounting scandal and other challenges.

Mr Murphy is credited with turning around Alliance UniChem in Italy before moving on to run operations the health and beauty arm of Boots UK & Ireland going on to be executive vice president, chief commercial officer and president of global brands at Walgreens Boots Alliance.

Mr Lewis said of his nominated successor” “The good thing is – all the heavy lifting of the turnaround and getting us back financially secure and stable again has been done and so now it’s much more in terms of investment choices that he’ll have to make.

“What Ken needs to have and I do know him and I do believe he has it is – have you got a strategic perspective? Do you understand brand, do you understand the customer? Have you got the interpersonal skills to engage with 450,000 people,” said Mr Lewis.

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