BP has hired ex-CEO of ExxonMobil Rex Tillerson as its new CEO, the company announced on Monday.
Tillerson will take over after the company posted its second-quarter earnings on Monday, following a year in which the oil giant cut its carbon footprint.
He will succeed Bob Dudley, who took over after ExxonMobil’s chief executive, Marillyn Hewson, left the company in March 2019.
BP’s third-quarter profit fell 5 per cent to $5.76 billion, while its net loss was $6.9 billion.
BP, a major US oil and gas producer, has been under pressure to cut its CO2 emissions in order to help it meet targets to cut emissions by 30 per cent by 2025.
It has already cut its emissions by up to 30 per the previous year.
In December, BP agreed to pay $5bn to settle accusations of misleading investors and shareholders by misleading investors about how much the company was spending on climate action.
BP and other companies have also been accused of using accounting practices that led to the company having to pay billions of dollars to US courts and other agencies in a series of investigations.
The US and European Union both imposed new penalties on BP, which has said it will appeal them.
Tillerson was appointed by President Donald Trump in February 2018 and is the second-most powerful person in the US, after Trump’s chief of staff, John Kelly.
He was a top adviser to Trump’s campaign and later worked for the oil company.
Tillerson’s first big move as CEO was to sell oilfield services to Russian state-owned energy giant Rosneft.
In March, the US Treasury Department announced sanctions on five senior members of Rosneftegas’ board of directors.
He had previously been appointed by the US government to a three-year term as the head of Exxon Mobil’s global energy business, but was forced to resign from that position in December 2019 amid investigations by the FBI and the Justice Department.
He has said he did not commit any crime.
“We have to find a way to get back to a world where we are doing more to address climate change,” Tillerson told CNBC on Monday morning.
“There is no silver bullet, but it is critical that we are more aggressive and more efficient.”
He said that his first priority was to cut down on greenhouse gas emissions.
“My priority has always been to get as much carbon out of the atmosphere as possible and we will continue to do that,” he said.