Business Case Studies, Succession Planning Case Study, Lord John Browne at BP, Leadership and Succession Dilemmas

print page
Tell A Friend

Case Categories

Succession Planning Case Study

Case Title:

Lord John Browne at BP: Leadership and Succession Dilemmas

Publication Year : 2006

Authors: Anuradha Donepudi, Mercy Mathew

Industry: Oil and Natural Gas


Case Code: SUP0012

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

Buy This Case StudyOR


Lord John Browne, Britain’s most admired chief executive, has a long-standing career spanning four decades at BP. He joined BP in 1966 as a University apprentice and held various key positions before becoming its CEO in 1995. BP’s success as the world’s second largest oil company is attributed to the efforts of Browne. The 58-year-old CEO is set to retire in 2007 when he turns 60, the retirement age as per the company’s norms.

Speculations are rife that he wants to postpone his retirement date but on the other hand, chairman Sutherland is pressurising Browne to come clean on his retirement plans. Several shareholders are in favour of Browne continuing as the CEO for an extended term, while others want him to make way for new leadership. Amidst this debate, Browne announced that he would want to step down in 2007, which would leave just two years for Browne and BP’s Board to select the next successor and groom him for the job.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To discuss the leadership style of Browne
  • To analyse the implications of Browne’s retirement for the company
  • To debate the views and counter views on Browne’s retirement
  • To understand the concept of succession planning initiated by Browne
  • To debate on whether executives should be forced to leave because of long- standing company policy
  • To debate on corporate governance issues with regard to Browne assuming the role of chairman of the company.

Keywords : Leadership Styles; A CEO’s Real Legacy; Mandatory Retirement Age; Succession Battles; Executive Recruitment; Succession Planning Case Study; Role of the Board in Executive Recruitment; Mutant Ninja Turtles Programme; Grooming CEOs; Change Management


  • Legacy of Lord John Browne
  • Retirement Dilemma
  • Succession Dilemma
  • Challenges

Recently Bought Case Studies

    Recently Bought Case Studies

    Executive Interviews

  • David ConklinDavid Conklin

    David Conklin, is a professor at the Richard Ivey School of Business
    Speaks on Government and Business
  • Lord Meghnad DesaiLord Meghnad Desai

    Lord Meghnad Desai, is an Indian-born British economist and Labor politician
    Speaks on Government and Business
  • Vijay GovindarajanVijay Govindarajan

    Vijay Govindarajan, is widely regarded as one of the world’s leading experts on strategy and innovation
    Speaks on Reverse Innovation
  • View All Executive Interviews»

Contact us: IBS Case Development Centre (IBSCDC), IFHE Campus, Donthanapally, Sankarapally Road, Hyderabad-501203, Telangana, INDIA.
Mob: +91- 9640901313,

©2020-2025 IBS Case Development Centre. All rights reserved. | Careers | Privacy Policy | Terms of Use | Disclosure | Site Map xml sitemap