BP has axed its top global brand marketing role following the departure of Tom Vaughan, and handed responsibility for brand to its communications chief.
Vaughan, who was general manager of brand and marketing communications, has left the oil giant after six years to join law firm Burges Salmon as marketing director. He has not been directly replaced and the brand team will now report to BP’s group vice-president of communications and external affairs Mark Ware.
A BP spokesman confirms the move and says that the brand team will now report to Ware in the central corporate division of the business.
Previously, brand was slotted under refining and marketing.
Sources say Ware is the man responsible for looking after BP’s ‘reputation’ and that the move will mean less focus on brand. Vaughan worked across all areas of the company¹s business, from the Beyond Petroleum rebrand to its petrol station branding.
Vaughan joined BP in 2000 when it acquired Burmah Castrol, where he worked in the brand team, for £3bn. Prior to joining Castrol he was at Unilever.
He joins Burges Salmon in April and says of his move: “Competition is growing in the legal sector and a lot of firms are looking to boost their marketing expertise.” It emerged two weeks ago that BP chief executive Lord Browne is to retire 18 months early. He will be succeeded by Tony Hayward, the head of BP’s exploration and production division, when he leaves at the end of June.
His decision to quit early came soon after the publication of a damning report into the fire at BP¹s Texas City refinery that killed 15 workers and injured 150 in 2005 (MW last week).