John Browne, Baron Browne of Madingley

John Browne, Baron Browne of Madingley

Infobox Politician
honorific-prefix = The Right Honourable
name = The Lord Browne of Madingley

caption =
birth_date = birth date|1948|2|20|mf=y
birth_place = Hamburg, Germany
death_date =
death_place =
occupation = President of the Royal Academy of Engineering, chairman of the board of Apax Partners

:"For other notable people called John Browne, see John Browne (disambiguation)".

Edmund John Philip Browne, Baron Browne of Madingley, FRS FREng (born February 20, 1948) is President of the Royal Academy of Engineering and was group Chief Executive of BP until his resignation on May 1, 2007. Since 2001, he has been a crossbench member of the House of Lords.

Browne was born in Hamburg, Germany, to a British Army officer father and a Hungarian Auschwitz survivor mother. His father also worked in civilian life for Anglo-Persian Oil, which later became British Petroleum. He was educated at the King's School, Ely and St John's College, Cambridge, where he earned a First Class Bachelor's degree in Physics; he later obtained an MS from Stanford Business School. In May 2003, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines.

Career at BP

At the suggestion of his father, Browne joined BP as an apprentice in 1966 while still at university and remained with the corporation throughout his career. In 1969 Browne worked as a BP field engineer in Anchorage, Alaska. [ [ ADN] ] He was appointed group chief executive in 1995. A chapter length study of Browne’s career and his leadership style, including views on life, business and leadership, is included in Steve Tappin's book [ The Secrets of CEOs] . [ [ Official "The Secrets of CEOs" Website] ]

Green issues promoted by Browne

From 1997, Browne challenged "oil industry rejection" of Greens and sought to recreate BP as a "green" energy company. The company linked itself in its corporate communications with green issues by the overt link of its BP initials with the phrase "Beyond Petroleum". Browne stated that the right to self determination are crucial for people everywhere, and that he sees his company's mission as to find ways to meet current needs without excessive harm to the environment, while developing future, more sustainable sources of energy. He promised that BP would cut its production of CO2 by 10% by 2010, although his premature resignation in 2007 leaves a question mark over his legacy.


It was announced on 25 July 2006 that Browne would stand down as chief executive of BP in December 2008, 10 months after his 60th birthday. There had been press speculation that he had wished to continue beyond this date, but he made it clear that he did not wish to do so. On 6 January, Browne won his first interim injunction against the allegations by his homosexual former lover being published, after being called earlier the previous week while on holiday in the Caribbean by BP's press officer - a week later, on 12 January 2007, it was announced that his retirement date has been brought forward to July 2007 and that he would be succeeded by Tony Hayward. [ [ BBC NEWS | Business | 'Perjury' threat for ex-BP boss ] ] In April 2007, after a court case lasting over four weeks, Browne appealed to the Judicial Committee of the House of Lords, who ruled that he could not prevent Associated Newspapers from printing allegations about his romantic life and alleged misuse of company funds.cite news | first= | last= | coauthors= | title=BP chief and ex-boyfriend: full text of judgment | date=2007-05-01 | publisher= | url = | work =Times Online | pages = | accessdate = 2007-05-03 | language = ] [ [ Financial Times] ] Lord Browne resigned from BP on 1 May 2007. [ [ PinkNews] ] [ [ BBC News] ]

Sources say he supported his boyfriend, Canadian escort Jeff Chevalier, throughout their four-year relationship, and when Chevalier moved back to Toronto at the end of the relationship, Browne paid for 12 months of a lease on an apartment. [ [ Gay News From ] ] BP chairman, Peter Sutherland, said that a review into allegations that company assets and resources had been abused were "unfounded or insubstantive". [ [ BBC NEWS | Business | BP chief executive Browne resigns ] ] The allegations include a BP laptop given to Chevalier by Browne (complete with passwords to BP's intranet), unauthorised use of a private plane and using a BP employee to hand-carry cash to Chevalier. Lord Browne says he felt he was under pressure to resign due to UK newspaper "Mail on Sunday" revelations about his personal life and relationship with Chevalier. As part of a statement made at the time of his resignation, he commented: "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." [ ]

It is not yet clear how his resignation from BP will affect his future plans. BP was also due to give him a large leaving payout of over £5m and £21m pension on his scheduled departure in summer 2007, which will probably be affected by his resignation.

It is possible that Browne will face charges of perjury for lying to the court over how he met Chevalier. Browne in a deposition to the court initially said the pair had met when they were both exercising in Battersea Park. Browne later admitted this was a lie. Newspapers have reported that Browne actually met Chevalier via a commercial gay escort website, "Suited and Booted". [ [ iTWire - BP CEO scandal brings down escort agency web site ] ] However, Mr Justice Eady, the presiding judge in the case, has said he has decided not to refer the matter to the Attorney General with regard to possible perjury charges, saying disclosure in the judgement of Lord Browne's behaviour was "probably sufficient punishment". [ [,,2070239,00.html BP's Browne quits over lie to court about private life | Business | The Guardian ] ]

He resigned as a non-executive director of Goldman Sachs on 10 May 2007.

Life outside BP

Lord Browne lists fine cigars, antique furniture, opera and the arts among his interests. He was one of the most highly paid executives in the UK with a remuneration package of approximately £5.7 million in 2004. He became President of the Royal Academy of Engineering in July 2006. He took over from Frances Cairncross as President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science in September 2006, and was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 2006. In 1998, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II and in 2001 named as one of the "people's peers" taking the title Baron Browne of Madingley, of Cambridge in the County of Cambridgeshire, [ [ House of Lords - Minute] , 18 July 2001] and becoming a crossbencher in the House of Lords.

He is a trustee of the British Museum and the Tate Gallery, a member of the Governing Body of the London Business School and a member of the Supervisory Board of DaimlerChrysler AG. He is also emeritus chairman of the Advisory Board of the Stanford Graduate School of Business and Judge Business School, Cambridge as well as a trustee of The Conference Board, Inc. and a vice president and member of the board of the Prince of Wales Business Leaders Forum. In late 2006 he was appointed Chairman of the private equity firm Apax Partners.


External links

* [ Yahoo News article of May 1, 2007]
* [ Daily Mail editorial on May 6, 2007]
* [ Globe and Mail article of May 7: Champagne lifestyle]
* [ "Ingenia" magazine, March 2008] Lord Browne speaking at the 2008 Lubbock Lecture on his experiences as an engineer when working on the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan pipline

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