(Reuters) - British oil major BP's CEO Bernard Looney has stepped down after less than four years in office after failing to fully disclose details of past personal relationships with colleagues.
Chief Financial Officer Murray Auchincloss will be the CEO on an interim basis, the company said.
EDWARD MOYA, SENIOR MARKET ANALYST, OANDA
"This was unexpected and could raise doubts to BP's transition towards renewable energy. BP share prices might not get rocked that hard as CFO Auchincloss appears poised to take over. Whoever becomes the permanent CEO will have a greater impact on what happens to BP's stock."
ALLEN GOOD, DIRECTOR, MORNINGSTAR HOLLAND BV
"While BP rolled back some of its energy transition strategy earlier this year, such as keeping oil production higher for longer, it largely kept with its plans. This stands in contrast to peer Shell, who pivoted more with a new CEO. So, depending on the new CEO, BP could theoretically roll back its transition plans further.
"But if the board likes the current direction, regardless of the lagging stock price, they will likely bring in someone who keeps BP on the same path."
MICHAEL SCHULMAN, CHIEF INVESTMENT OFFICER, RUNNING POINT CAPITAL ADVISORS
"I believe this will be a near-term negative for BP's stock, but realistically much of the long-term direction and improvements driven by Bernard Looney were also co-piloted by CFO Murray Auchincloss, so the company should not be completely rudderless with Looney's departure.
"Long-term, it may even be a positive for BP if Looney's personal issues were distracting corporate culture."
GIACOMO ROMEO, EQUITY ANALYST, JEFFERIES
"The resignation of BP's CEO due to reasons unrelated to the company's strategy or performance is likely going to be taken as a negative."
"Nominating CFO Murray Auchincloss as interim CEO will guarantee a certain level of continuity of BP's strategy. We also view him as a likely internal CEO replacement candidate (together with Chairman Helge Lund).
"An external hire, while not traditionally an option chosen by BP, can't be ruled out. The increased level of uncertainty is also likely to reignite the M&A deal specs seen at the end of last year."
"While the news is shocking and unwelcome, BP's executive bench is deep, visible and highly credible. Any of the current team could step up ... any radical strategic shift is unlikely in our view.
"With this in mind and the forward cash flow trajectory we see ahead, we remain 'outperform' on the stock."
SOPHIE LUND-YATES, LEAD EQUITY ANALYST, HARGREAVES LANSDOWN
"Looney has spearheaded an aggressive and green-thinking strategy during his tenure, and replacing him with someone that can convince the market they're up for carrying the mantle and sprinting with it isn't going to be an overnight task.
"The recent oil price spike only provides a limited cushion under BP's valuation, with longer-term forecasters far more concerned about strategy and how well prepared BP is for the energy transition."
BIRAJ BORKHATARIA, ASSOCIATE DIRECTOR OF EUROPEAN RESEARCH, RBC CAPITAL MARKETS
"We think investors have remained unconvinced on the strategic shift ... With Murray at the helm, we wonder if we could see a step back ... to the future, with more focus on value and value growth in the core business."
(Reporting by Arunima Kumar, Ashitha Shivaprasad and Harshit Verma in Bengaluru; Editing by Devika Syamnath, Sriraj Kalluvila and David Goodman)