Another TNK-BP Executive Leaves
August 26, 2008; Page B2
MOSCOW – BP PLC’s Russian joint venture, TNK-BP Ltd., said the head of its downstream business had resigned, becoming the second senior manager to leave the troubled oil firm this month.
TNK-BP, Russia’s third-largest oil producer, said Executive Vice President Anthony Considine would step down Sept. 15 “to pursue other opportunities.” Mr. Considine has been at TNK-BP since its creation almost five years ago, heading the company’s refining, trading and marketing businesses.
“Tony has led the transformation of our refining and marketing business, including value-chain optimization,” TNK-BP said. “Our downstream safety performance has improved markedly during Tony’s leadership.”
Mr. Considine’s departure follows that of Chief Financial Officer James Owen, who quit Aug. 4, citing the bitter struggle between BP and its Russian billionaire partners.
The tycoons — who own half of TNK-BP via the holding companies Alfa Group,Access Industries and Renova, known collectively as AAR — object to the way Chief Executive Robert Dudley is running the company and have demanded his dismissal.
Mr. Dudley, a U.S. citizen, remains at the helm but left Russia last month complaining of harassment by the authorities, who declined to renew his visa. He is carrying out his duties from an undisclosed location in Central Europe.
Many observers have blamed the pressures put on TNK-BP, which have also included tax raids and other visa-related issues, on BP’s Russian partners.
BP was forced to withdraw from Russia 148 technical specialists that it lent to TNK-BP after they experienced visa problems.
Earlier this summer, the row between the shareholders prompted independent director Jean-Luc Vermeulen to resign.
Like Mr. Owen, Mr. Considine’s successor will require approval by TNK-BP’s board, split 50-50 between BP and AAR.
BP had no comment. Neither Mr. Considine nor representatives of AAR could be reached to comment.