“The shareholders… have agreed to appoint three independent directors, including former chancellor of the Federal Republic of Germany, Gerhard Schröder, to the restructured main board of TNK-BP,” BP said in a statement.
Schröder’s appointment marks his latest advance in Russian business. The ex-chancellor, a close friend of Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, already heads the Nord Stream pipeline project led by Russian state-run energy giant Gazprom.
Schröder was appointed along with two other independent directors “to avoid the risk of deadlock” between the 50-50 owners of the venture, BP and a group of Russian tycoons known as Alfa Access-Renova (AAR), the statement said.
BP and AAR fought a bitter, months-long battle for control of the company last year before agreeing on a settlement that included ousting its chief executive and shaking up its management structure. The company is Russia’s third-largest oil producer and is said to account for about a quarter of BP’s global output.
Three independent directors will be appointed in total, joining four directors from BP and four from AAR.