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Odds narrow on BP chairman

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Odds narrow on BP chairman

By Emiliya Mychasuk and Emiko Terazono

Published: August 21 2008 03:00 | Last updated: August 21 2008 03:00

Rio Tinto chairman Paul Skinner has stretched into the lead as a rumoured candidate for the BP chairman’s job, as the head hunters narrow their lists before the 2009 handover by Peter Sutherland .

Mr Skinner will know by then whether the bid by BHP Billiton for rival Rio is likely to succeed and leave him free for the BP job.

It would be a nice irony, as the other rumoured main contender is former BHP boss Chip Goodyear .

But his successor at BHP, Marius Kloppers , has placed a “short” on the prospects of Mr Goodyear turning up as BP chairman (see

Rolls-Royce’s long-serving chief executive Sir John Rose was also on bookie lists but said recently that he hadn’t been approached. Mr Skinner, of course, knows the tricky oil business inside out after a 40-year career at Shell.

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One Comment

  1. Paddy Briggs says:

    “Mr Skinner, of course, knows the tricky oil business inside out after a 40-year career at Shell.”

    True of course but Paul was never an Upstream man. He ran the Downstream in his last Shell job – but he was very much in the mix as a CMD member when the Reserves debacle was going on. He was a contender for the top job in Shell, but they eventually chose Watts. I suspect that things might have been different (and better) had PS got the job!

    The world of E&P was rather foreign to Paul and no doubt still is. He wasn’t everyone’s cup of tea but I always found him pleasant enough. He made a nice little speech about me at an event shortly before I retired – a nice gesture I thought at the time, and still do.

    Good luck to him if he does get the BP Chair.