BP Appoints New Head of Low-Carbon Business Amid Clean Energy Shift
(Bloomberg) -- BP Plc appointed Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath to lead its low-carbon business, announcing the departure of Dev Sanyal less than two years into a strategic shift toward cleaner energy.
The switch comes as BP strives to become a “net zero” company by the middle of the century, including slashing oil and gas production 40% by 2030. Sanyal has spearheaded the major’s plans to become a low-carbon integrated energy provider, with aggressive targets to ramp up its pipeline of renewable projects.
Dotzenrath, until recently head of RWE Renewables, is “globally recognized as a transformative leader” in the clean-energy industry, BP said Tuesday in a statement. The 54-year-old’s arrival on March 1 will bring the number of women on Bernard Looney’s executive team to five, with six men.
Given Dotzenrath’s “renewable energy track record and no oil and gas experience, BP confirms its ambitions in renewable energy while showing that it sees a smaller role in the natural gas part of the business going forward,” analysts at Jefferies said in a note. “This pace of direction could be premature as we expect demand for natural gas, LNG in particular, to continue to grow.”
An electrical engineer by training, Dotzenrath oversaw the integration of EON SE and Innogy SE’s renewables businesses into a new company. The German utility has one of the largest low-carbon energy portfolios in Europe, but its parent company RWE AG has come under fire as it still generates a quarter of its power from lignite plants.
RWE is focusing on expanding into offshore wind as a key area for growth. Under Sanyal, BP made its first forays into the offshore wind industry in development projects in the U.S. and the U.K.
Sanyal, a long-time renewables-focused executive at BP, will become chief executive officer of Varo Energy BV on Jan. 1, replacing Roger Brown, the refiner and fuel retailer said in a separate statement.
His appointment indicates a greater focus on clean energy and sustainable fuels for Varo, which is controlled by private equity firm Carlyle Group and backed by oil-trading giant Vitol Group. It’s among energy companies being forced to refocus their business as governments, consumers and investors demand greater efforts to fight climate change.
Sanyal, 55, was involved with BP’s investment in the solar company Lightsource, as well as the creation of the Brazilian bio-energy firm BP Bunge Bioenergia SA.
Varo’s Chief Operating Officer Julian Stoll will serve as interim CEO until Sanyal arrives.
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