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BP Tightens Office Relationship Rules After Ex-CEO Scandal

Bernard Looney

BP has tightened rules on workplace relationships among employees, requiring all staff to disclose intimate relationships at work. 

Senior leaders must also report any such relationships from the past three years.

This policy change follows the high-profile resignation of former CEO Bernard Looney last year. 

Looney resigned after BP revealed he had not fully disclosed past personal relationships with colleagues.

It led to his classification as "dismissed without notice" due to serious misconduct. 

This resulted in the forfeiture of over $40 million in salary, pension, and other payments.


Last year, BP's board investigated allegations about Looney’s relationships with colleagues based on anonymous tips. 

Although Looney admitted to a few relationships before becoming CEO, the company later found his disclosures incomplete and inaccurate.

The new policy represents a major shift from BP’s previous stance, which only required workers to disclose office romances if they could potentially cause a conflict of interest. 

Now, BP staff must report all “familial and intimate relationships” at work, regardless of whether they believe it presents a conflict of interest.

BP said these changes came after a recent review of its conflict of interest policy.

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The company said such conflicts should be “disclosed, recorded, and—where appropriate—mitigated.”

The stricter rules for senior leaders, mandating disclosure of intimate relationships from the past three years, will apply to around 4,500 executives out of BP’s global workforce of 90,000. 

Non-compliance with the new rules could result in disciplinary action, and executives have three months to comply.

BP noted that it periodically updates its compliance policies. 

After refreshing its code of conduct in January 2023, the conflict of interest policy was scheduled for review this year, the first update since 2018. 

The review included benchmarking against comparable companies and industry best practices.

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