Richard L. Olver

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Sir Dick Olver (born 1947- ) is the former chairman of global arms company BAE and a former BP executive.



In 2004 Olver was appointed chairman of BAE Systems plc and at the same time retired from the board of BP. Before leaving BP he was deputy group chief executive. He continues with BP as deputy chairman of TNK-BP.

Olver was appointed chairman of BAE Systems and has held this role since July 2004. He was awarded a knighthood for turning the company around.[1]


Olver had a 30 year career in the oil industry with BP. Joining in 1973, his early career involved a wide range of oil, gas and refining projects in Britain, Canada, the Middle East and Norway. He was appointed Vice President, BP Pipelines Inc., BP North America, in 1979. In 1983 he became Divisional Manager for new technology with responsibility for offshore, Arctic and enhanced oil recovery technology development. In 1985 he became Divisional Manager of Corporate Planning for British Petroleum and led the strategic team on the acquisition by BP of Standard Oil in the United States. In 1988 he became General Manager, Gas, BP Exploration Europe, responsible for the operation, new business development and asset management of BP and Britoil's European gas portfolio. He was made Chief of Staff to the Chairman of BP and Head of Corporate Strategy for the BP Group in May 1990. In April 1992 he became Chief Executive, BP Exploration, USA, where he led BP's growth in deep water exploration in the Gulf of Mexico. In 1995 he became Deputy Chief Executive of BP Exploration. In 1998 he was appointed to the Board of BP and became CEO of Exploration and Production.

He has previously served as vice president of BP Pipelines Inc, BP North America in 1979; divisional manager for new technology in 1983; division manager for corporate planning in 1985; general manager of BP Exploration Europe and executive director of BP Plc in 1988; chief of staff to the chairman of BP and head of corporate strategy for the BP Group in 1990; chief executive of BP Exploration, USA in 1992; deputy chief executive of BP Exploration in 1995; CEO of exploration and production from 1998; and as deputy group chief executive of BP plc from 2003 to 2004.[2]

Affiliations and advisory roles


Letter to the Telegraph

On 1 April 2015 Olver was one of 103 business leaders who wrote to the Telegraph praising the British Conservative Party's economic policies and claiming a Labour government would 'threaten jobs and deter investment' in the UK.[5]

External articles


  1. Mark Wembridge Dick Olver knighted after turning round BAE Systems Financial Times, 14 July 2013, accessed 3 April 2015.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Bloomberg Dick Olver, accessed 3 April 2015.
  3. Business Advisory Group Gov.UK, 18 November 2014, accessed 8 April 2015.
  4. Richard L. Olver biography, BAE Systems website Dick Olver],
  5. Peter Dominiczak, 100 business chiefs: Labour threatens Britain's recovery, Telegraph, 3 April 2015.