Centrica in Talks With BP’s Refining Head Conn to Become CEO

Centrica Plc is in talks with Iain Conn, BP Plc’s head of refining, about becoming chief executive officer of the largest energy supplier to U.K. households.

Conn, who has been with BP for 29 years and will leave its board by the end of the year, would replace Sam Laidlaw, Centrica said today in a statement. He ran BP’s downstream portfolio, including overseeing an upgrade at the Whiting refinery in Indiana, Robert Wine, a BP spokesman in London, said by phone.

Centrica is seeking to replace three of its most senior executives in Laidlaw, Chief Financial Officer Nick Luff, and head of downstream business Chris Weston, who quit amid reports he’d lost the top job to Conn. Centrica is among the U.K.’s six biggest utilities being investigated by the Competition and Markets Authority for price increases that exceeded inflation.

Conn will be replaced by Tufan Erginbilgic from Oct. 1, BP said in a statement. Erginbilgic, an engineer by training, is chief operating officer for the fuels business globally.

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