BP Taps New Communications Chief


LONDON—BP PLC has chosen Peter Henshaw as communications chief, as the company reshapes its public-relations operation following the disastrous Gulf of Mexico oil spill, a person familiar with the matter said Friday.

Mr. Henshaw is a BP veteran and is currently head of government affairs at rival U.K. oil and gas company BG Group PLC. He previously worked for BP for 29 years in a variety of roles in Australia, Turkey and Azerbaijan. His last role in the company was heading up communications at BP’s Russian joint venture, TNK-BP, from 2003 to 2008, the person said.

Mr. Henshaw won’t directly replace Andrew Gowers, BP’s former chief of media relations who was criticized for his handling of the Gulf of Mexico spill last summer, which turned into a public relations disaster for the company. Mr. Henshaw will have a broader, more senior role, the person familiar with the matter said.

David Nicholas, the current deputy head of media relations, is likely to become BP’s new media chief, the person said.

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Stuart H. Smith is an attorney based in New Orleans fighting major oil companies and other polluters.
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