Bernard Looney, who resigned as chief executive of BP in September, is paying a steep price for his failure to disclose past personal relationships with colleagues.
On Wednesday, BP, the London-based oil giant, said it would take a series of measures intended not only to reduce Mr. Looney’s termination settlement but also to claw back some earlier payments, which together could total 32.4 million pounds, or about $40 million.
In an unusual news release, the company said that “following careful consideration,” it had concluded that Mr. Looney “knowingly misled the board” when questioned in July 2022 about his personal relationships with company employees.
As a result, the board said, it was dismissing Mr. Looney on Wednesday for “serious misconduct,” even though he had already resigned. The move, in effect, ended the 12-month notice period during which he was entitled to receive his salary.
As a result of the dismissal and other measures, the company said, Mr. Looney will lose various salary, pension and bonus awards. He will also be required to pay back an estimated £1 million from 2022. BP estimates that Mr. Looney could lose as much as £32.4 million.
BP has not announced a replacement for Mr. Looney, leaving an uncertain leadership situation at a time when the oil industry is trying to navigate volatile oil prices and the shift to cleaner energy. Murray Auchincloss, the chief financial officer, is serving as interim chief executive.
Mr. Looney could not immediately be reached for comment.