BP selects Ericsson CEO as new chairman

BP today announced the appointment of Ericsson's CEO Carl-Henric Svanberg,  to replace Peter Sutherland as chairman of BP.

Svanberg, who is also chairman of Sony Ericsson and a non-executive director of Melker Schörling AB, will join the BP board as chairman-designate and a non-executive director on 1 September 2009.

He will step down at year-end after a seven-year tenure as Ericsson chief executive and Sony Ericsson chairman and succeed Sutherland as chairman of BP on 1 January 2010. He will be based in London.

The search for the new chairman was conducted by the BP board's nominations committee led by Sir Ian Prosser. The other committee members were Sir William Castell, DeAnne Julius and outgoing chairman Peter Sutherland. Sir Ian said the process had been worldwide and exhaustive, producing candidates from the UK, continental Europe and the US.

BP chief executive Tony Hayward said, ''Peter Sutherland has been an outstanding chairman, guiding the company through one of the most successful periods in its history. He will be a hard act to follow. But I am sure Carl-Henric will be a worthy successor. He is a businessman of international stature who is recognised for his transformation of Ericsson. Our shared views on many aspects of global business give me great confidence that we will work very effectively together on the next phase of BP's progress.''

Svanberg, 57, said, ''Following such a distinguished predecessor is quite a challenge but I'm hugely excited about joining the energy industry which is so much at the heart of the global economy.''