Bernard Looney, the CEO of BP, saw his pay rise by more than two-fold following the company’s exceptional profits.

BP CEO Bernard Looney’s compensation package more than doubled to £10 million in 2022, as the company recorded record profits due to high oil and gas prices.

The package includes a salary of £1.37 million, a bonus of £2.37 million, and shares worth £6 million. This amount is higher than the £4.5 million he received in 2021 and more than the £9.7 million paid to former Shell CEO Ben van Beurden.

Criticism has arisen regarding the payouts, given the ongoing cost of living crisis brought about by the skyrocketing oil and gas prices. Campaign group Global Witness stated that people struggling to provide for their families or heat their homes have every right to be upset about a massive energy company’s CEO earning millions of pounds in compensation.

The £6 million share grant is tied to BP’s performance during the past three years, including the pandemic.

According to Paula Rosput Reynolds, the chair of BP’s compensation committee, the past few years have been some of the most challenging in the company’s history. She justified the £10 million pay awarded to CEO Bernard Looney by stating that his job is complex, involving the management of a diverse range of essential global businesses.

Since taking over in 2020, Looney has been working towards diversifying the company’s portfolio away from oil and gas in line with the global movement to reduce carbon emissions. Reynolds acknowledged Looney’s resilience in introducing BP’s new strategy, which focused on operational excellence to maintain the company’s performance during the pandemic.

Reynolds added that the company had achieved almost all of the metrics it had set out, which had been endorsed by shareholders. Although the pay committee exercised its discretion to reduce Looney’s pay by around £746,000, he still received a total compensation package of £10 million.

BP, like other oil and gas companies, recorded record profits of $28 billion in 2022, as oil and gas prices soared following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. However, the company scaled back its plans to reduce oil and gas output due to concerns about energy security. Its new target is to produce two million barrels of oil equivalent per day by 2030, a 25% reduction from 2019 levels, compared to its previous target of a 40% reduction.

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