He created a ‘super-major’ oil company – merging BP with Amoco. He lead an illustrious career as a business titan. He lead a dignified quiet life of a titled businessman in Britain. And he lied in court, an act that finally destroyed the long career of BP boss Lord John Browne.
Britain’s press has shot down some big game over the years, ‘The Economist’ reports. The resignation of the boss of BP, an oil firm and the country’s biggest company, might be expected to take pride of place in the trophy cabinet. But the decision by John Browne to leave his job, on Tuesday May 1st, with immediate effect after courts lifted an injunction that stopped a newspaper publishing of details about his private life, brings a sad end to a career already nearing a conclusion. There seems little for anyone to revel in.
Lord Browne had become, in any case, a spent force at the company he joined in 1966. The great successes of his 12-year tenure at the top were behind him. He created the industry’s first “super-major” by merging BP with Amoco.
He also persuaded Russia to allow BP to buy half of a domestic oil company—a trick no other foreign firm has been able to pull off. And as BP expanded he ruthlessly kept costs under control, so profits rose.