Ex-safety chief Castell to step down from board


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The Independent Online

Sir William Castell, the man who oversaw safety at BP in the run-up to the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, is leaving the company.

Sir William became chairman of BP's safety, ethics and environment committee in April 2008 – two years before the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion that resulted in 11 deaths.

He relinquished that role last month – 15 months after the disaster claimed the scalp of chief executive, Tony Hayward – but remained as senior board director. He was paid £147,000 by BP in 2010.

However, Sir William, who suffered a vote of no confidence at BP's AGM last year, when 43 percent of shareholders declined to support him, said yesterday he would not stand for re-election to his remaining role in April.

BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg said: "The last two years have been a difficult time for BP. Bill has devoted all the time that was asked of him and more in the service of the company. I speak for the whole board when I thank him sincerely for all that he has done."

Andrew Shilston, who joined BP as a non-executive director this month, is being promoted to the senior independent director's role. Professor Dame Ann Dowling, head of the engineering department at Cambridge University, will join as a non-executive director with immediate effect.

Her research is primarily in combustion, fluid mechanics, vibration and noise, and is aimed mainly at the transport and energy sectors.

Paul Anderson has replaced Sir William as safety committee chair.