Suitable for MBA, EMBA, and executive education programs, this case uses the complexities of the oil industry to set the stage to unfold a stakeholder analysis on BP's growth and opportunity in the renewable energy sector. This public sourced case offers a discussion about the firm's overall strategy, post Gulf Oil spill, moving forward. The case describes how within a single decade, BP had emerged as one of the largest energy companies in the world. Within that scope, BP had an odd achievement: It had been building an alternative energy business and had gained a reputation as being an oil company with a regard for the environment. Then a series of preventable accidents, in the United States in particular, started to chip away at the firm's status. In a matter of five years, BP went from celebrating its most profitable period to finding itself selling assets while industry watchers wondered whether the company would survive after being responsible for the largest oil spill in the United States.
Shortly following the Gulf oil spill, Robert Dudley, a legacy Amoco executive, was appointed to replace Tony Hayward, the beleaguered BP group chief executive and director. Besides the oil spill and ongoing cleanup, Dudley had slumping revenues (even before the Deepwater tragedy) and a huge rebuilding task ahead of him. Not only did he have a multinational energy company to run, but Robert Dudley had to rehabilitate the Gulf of Mexico ecosystem, compensate all who suffered loss as a result of the damage, and repair the firm's shabby reputation. Dudley needed to implement a sound long-term strategy. How would his former division?renewable energy and alternative activities?fit into his plans?