BP Chief Resigns

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BP chief Lord Browne has resigned from his post, to be replaced immediately by Dr. Tony Hayward, amidst accusations that he used company money to support (and woo) his partner of four years, Jeff Chevalier. The allegations against Browne include:

• BP resources were diverted for Mr. Chevalier's use, and he was given computers and technical support staff while a company was set up for him involving BP personnel (Lord Browne is said to have helped set up a company for him to trade in mobile phone ring-tones, with Lord Browne and another executive from BP as directors.)
• A senior member of BP staff was tasked with running personal errands for Lord Browne, including delivering cash to his former lover.
• The BP chief paid for Mr. Chevalier's studies, as well as a large sum over their four years together.
• Browne discussed EU policy and Chinese textile quotas with Peter Mandelson, the EU commissioner, and Mandelson's Brazilian boyfriend Reinaldo.
• A flat in Venice bought by Lord Browne underwent repairs for which the building company presented two bills, one with VAT and one without. Mr. Chevalier claimed Lord Browne paid cash to "dodge" his tax bill.

The couple split in 2006 and as went Browne so (purportedly) went Chevalier’s new lifestyle, which would explain how this story got into all of London’s major newspapers (and now: Dealbreaker.com). Browne commented that “In my 41 years with BP I have kept my private life separate from my business life. I have always regarded my sexuality as a personal matter, to be kept private. It is a matter of deep disappointment that a newspaper group has now decided that allegations about my personal life should be made public.”
Some thoughts:
- It’s difficult to actually keep one’s private life separate from one’s business life when one’s business life is paying for one’s private life (say that five times fast).
- This may actually just be a case of the age-old American mix-up: Gay or Brit? And Chevalier is just a (well-compensated) business associate.
- Todd Thomson can’t win at anything.
- If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times: if you pay for it yourself, you’re in the clear! (Source: Everyday Business, with Wayne Pace).
BP chief lied over affair with gay lover [This Is London]
BP's CEO to Step Down Immediately Amid Revelations of Private Life [WSJ]

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