Former BP downstream CEO Iain Conn. Image courtesy of Peerie. com.

Iain Conn, Group Managing Director and CEO of downstream, is leaving BP and stepping down from the company’s board at the end of the year, BP said Thursday.

Centrica, the UK-based utility company, confirmed it’s in talks with Conn to take over as CEO from Sam Laidlaw, the Guardian said.

Centrica is the largest supplier of gas to domestic customers in the UK and the largest supplier of electricity in the rest of the UK.

Laidlaw has served as Centrica’s CEO for eight years and is thought to be leaving partly due to pressure being placed on Centrica by consumer groups and politicians, the Guardian said.

The UK’s Competition and Markets Authority is currently investigating the whole British supply sector following concerns voiced by regulators about opaque pricing and noncompetitive retail markets.

The London-based Conn has worked at BP for 29 years, serving on the board for the past 10 years and as CEO of downstream for the past seven.

He joined BP Oil International in 1986, working in a variety of roles in oil trading, commercial refining and exploration before becoming vice president of BP Amoco Exploration’s mid-continent business unit in 1999.

In 2002, Conn was appointed CEO of BP Petrochemicals.

Conn will hand the BP reigns over to current COO for refining and marketing Tufan Erginbilgic on October 1, 2014.


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