Rolls-Royce names former BP executive Tufan Erginbilgic as CEO

AERO-ENGINE maker Rolls-Royce on Tuesday (Jul 26) named former BP executive Tufan Erginbilgic as its new CEO, succeeding Warren East who is stepping down at the end of the year.

The British group, which also has defence and power-systems units, said Erginbilgic would take up his new role on Jan 1.

East, who announced his departure in February, simplified Rolls by cutting layers of management and costs, before steering the company through the worst of the pandemic.

The group burned through more than £5.5 billion (S$9.2 billion) of cash as revenue, stemming from the hours flown by its engines on aircraft, plummeted.

Erginbilgic, a British and Turkish national with a background in engineering, spent over 20 years with the oil major, including 5 years as part of its executive team.

He led BP's downstream business until he left the company in 2020, and he is currently a partner at private equity firm Global Infrastructure Partners.

"I am honoured to be joining Rolls-Royce at a time of significant commercial opportunity and strategic evolution as its customers embrace the energy transition," he said.

Erginbilgic, who joined BP in 1997, oversaw the expansion of the energy company's downstream business, which includes refining, retail and petrochemicals, into electric vehicle charging, and added thousands of petrol stations in developing economies such as India and Mexico.

He also led the modernisation of BP's refining business, a highly competitive sector, including through the sale of a number of plants.

He left BP shortly after Bernard Looney was appointed CEO, a post which he contended for, along with BP's former CFO Brian Gilvary.

Shares in Rolls-Royce, which saw their value go down by 67 per cent during East's 7-year tenure, were trading down 0.2 per cent on Tuesday morning.

Erginbilgic will receive a base salary of £1.25 million, Rolls-Royce said, and he will also be awarded 2 tranches of shares, each worth £3.75 million. REUTERS

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