British energy giant BP could finally have a new chairman in place by July, with US executive Paul Anderson the leading candidate, said The Sunday Telegraph newspaper, citing sources.
Directors were understood to have identified Anderson, an American mining and energy chief, as the favourite, "although no appointment has yet been agreed and at least one other person remains in the frame," the weekly said.
Peter Sutherland has served as chairman since 1997. He was expected to leave last year but his departure has been delayed by the search for a successor, which began in late 2007.
"At a BP board meeting last Thursday, directors are understood to have discussed the process, and it is thought that an announcement about Mr Sutherland's successor will be made before the end of the month," said the broadsheet.
Anderson, 64, has extensive background in natural resources and energy, having worked for more than 20 years at Duke Energy, a Fortune 500 group, and its predecessors.
He is currently on the board of mining giant BHP Billiton, where he served as chief executive and managing director in the year following the company's creation from the merger of BHP and Billiton in June 2001.