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BP's Former CEO Forfeiting $40 Million in Severance Due to 'Serious Misconduct' Looney resigned from the company in September.

By Sam Silverman

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Former BP CEO Bernard Looney is being forced to hand back $40 million in severance after he resigned in September (with a 12-month notice period) for not being transparent about his personal relationships with his employees.

In a press release on Wednesday, BP's board said it has found "serious misconduct."

Valerie Plesch/Bloomberg via Getty Images | Valerie Plesch/Bloomberg via Getty Images

RELATED: BP CEO Bernard Looney Suddenly Resigns After Allegations of 'Personal Relationships' With Employees

In September, the company said that it received information from an anonymous source in May 2022, which led to a review of Looney's personal relationships with staffers, per CNN.

During a July 2022 review of the claims, Looney, 53, disclosed "a small number of historical relationships with colleagues prior to becoming CEO." No breach of the company's code of conduct was found at the time.

On Wednesday, the board said Looney "misled" them, which led to his immediate dismal "without notice."

"Following careful consideration, the board has concluded that, in providing inaccurate and incomplete assurances in July 2022, Mr. Looney knowingly misled the board," the company said in Wednesday's press release. "The board has determined that this amounts to serious misconduct, and as such Mr Looney has been dismissed without notice effective on 13 December 2023."

RELATED: CEO Apologizes After Telling Employees Not To Ask About Bonuses and 'Leave Pity City'

Following the board's decision, Looney will no longer receive a salary, pension allowance or benefits. He also won't receive his 2023 annual bonus, and he must forfeit half of the cash portion of his 2022 bonus and 6/36th of his awarded shares that vested in August 2023.

In total, he must forfeit 32,426,000 Euros or about $40 million.

Looney has worked at BP since 1991 and became CEO in July 2020.

Sam Silverman

Content Strategy Editor

Sam Silverman is a content strategy editor at Entrepreneur Media. She specializes in search engine optimization (SEO), and her work can be found in The US Sun, Nicki Swift, In Touch Weekly, Life & Style and Health. She writes for our news team with a focus on investigating scandals. Her coverage and expertise span from business news, entrepreneurship, technology, and true crime, to the latest in entertainment and TV news. Sam is a graduate of Lehigh University and currently resides in NYC. 

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