FT report raises questions over TNK-BP CEO position

A report in Britain’s Financial Times suggests that a remuneration dispute is delaying the expected announcement of Denis Morozov as CEO of TNK-BP.

Following the announcement of the appointment of former German Chancellor, Gerhard Schroder as an independent Director earlier in January, it was widely anticipated that an announcement on the CEO position would soon follow.

The position has been vacant since former CEO Robert Dudley left Russia in mid 2008 at the height of a bitter management struggle between joint owners, Britains BP, and the AAR consortium which represents Russian shareholders.

Press reports have suggested that Mr Morozov was the likely candidate for the position, in the wake of a management agreement reached between the previously warring shareholder factions in December. Morozov had the Chief Executive role at Norilsk Nickel until July 2008.

The report in the Financial Times, referring to unnamed sources linked to BP, AAR, and associates of Mr Morozov, says that the AAR consortium has now rejected Mr Morozov after agreeing terms in December, with the size of his remuneration package being the stumbling block. The report adds that this may reflect an opening of divisions between BP and its Russian partners after the December agreement, and that the search for a new CEO has been restarted.