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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

BP CEO Browne Resigns

BP CEO John Browne resigned Tuesday, hours after a British judge lifted a legal injunction preventing a newspaper from publishing details of his private life.

The company's board appointed Tony Hayward, who had been set to take over on Aug. 1, as the new CEO effective immediately, British Petroleum said in a statement.

Browne fought since January to suppress details from an interview with a man with whom he had had a relationship from being published by British newspaper the Mail on Sunday.

"For the past 41 years of my career at BP, I have kept my private life separate from my business life. I have always regarded my sexuality as a personal matter, to be kept private," Browne said in a statement. "It is a matter of personal disappointment that a newspaper group has now decided that allegations about my personal life should be made public."

Marina Dracheva, a spokeswoman for TNK-BP, said that there was no connection between Browne's resignation and TNK-BP. "It's all business as usual," Dracheva said.

Browne and Hayward last visited Moscow in late March and met with President Vladimir Putin in an effort to ease increasing tensions over the British oil major's Russian projects. A few days later, TNK-BP made an unsuccessful bid for Yukos' 9.4 percent stake in Rosneft.

BP said Browne's resignation meant he would lose a bonus worth more than $6.9 million. He would also forgo shares of up to $23.9 million.

Browne -- a close associate of British Prime Minister Tony Blair -- announced earlier this year that he would resign at the end of July, bringing his departure forward by more than a year.

AP, MT