BP Hires Former MI6 Boss John Sawers

BP hires former MI6 boss John Sawers (The Guardian, May 14, 2015):

Appointment to the board of Sawers, who has more than 35 years of experience in international affairs and security, highlights relevance of geopolitics to oil firm

BP has hired the former head of MI6 as it seeks to capitalise on his top-level diplomatic experience while dealing with some of the toughest political environments around the world.

Sir John Sawers, who was head of the Secret Intelligence Service between 2009 and 2014, has joined the oil company’s board as a non-executive member.

BP’s chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, said the former spy chief “brings extensive experience of international affairs and geopolitics”.

Sawers’ five-year tenure as boss of MI6 spanned two prime ministers, Gordon Brown and David Cameron. He has 36 years of experience working for the UK government in international affairs and security.

He has served as ambassador to the UN, as well as political director of the Foreign Office and Britain’s special representative in Iraq. He is chairman and partner of Macro Advisory Partners, which advises governments and companies on geopolitics and global markets.

BP’s appointment of Sawers, who will be paid £90,000 for his role, highlights the relevance of geopolitics to a company that is operational in about 80 countries, including some of those with challenging political backdrops such as Russia and Iraq.

Last month, Standard Chartered appointed the former head of GCHQ Sir Iain Lobban to advise the bank’s board on financial crime.

Standard Chartered created its risk committee after a $670m (£424m) fine in 2012 for breaching US sanctions on Iran, for which the bank remains under scrutiny by regulators.

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