BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg to Retire

BP PLC said Thursday the company's longstanding chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg is set to retire, launching a search for his replacement.

The Swedish businessman became chairman in January 2010, just months before a fatal blowout in the Gulf of Mexico propelled the company into the worst corporate crisis its history.

Mr. Svanberg became an important public face for the company and played a crucial role in seeing it through the aftermath.

"BP's comeback would not have been possible without the strong leadership and steadfast support of Carl-Henric," CEO Bob Dudley said in the company's retirement announcement.

Mr. Svanberg will be leaving the company as it returns to growth after years of retrenchment following the Gulf of Mexico disaster and a dramatic slump in oil prices since 2014.

"Today I can say with confidence that BP is back and ready for the future," he said in the retirement notice.

Mr. Svanberg joined BP after serving as CEO of telecom equipment maker Ericsson AB. He still chairs the board of Volvo AB.

Mr. Svanberg will chair the company's annual general meeting in May 2018 and will remain in position until a successor is found, BP said.

Write to Sarah Kent at sarah.kent@wsj.com

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

October 19, 2017 12:22 ET (16:22 GMT)