Ex-manager Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath becomes a board member at BP

Dusseldorf. Three weeks ago, Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath surprised everyone by saying goodbye to RWE. After just one and a half years, she resigned from the position of head of the future business RWE Renewables. “At my own request”, as it was called and which left many questions unanswered.

Now it is clear: The manager has found a new job – with a global corporation. Dotzenrath joins the board of the oil company BP. She will become a member of the global board of directors and assume the position of Executive Vice President Gas & Low Carbon Energy. She will start her new job on March 1, 2022. Predecessor Dev Sanyal will leave the company at the end of 2021.

Dotzenrath has achieved a career leap that the 54-year-old would have liked to have made at RWE. As it is said in circles of the group, the manager had already tried to join the board there, but was ultimately delayed. The nature of her departure suggests that Dotzenrath and her former employer did not necessarily part on good terms.

She vacated her post on the same day that RWE announced the reorganization of its renewables division. Dotzenrath gave neither a word of reason nor of parting. Experience has shown that a harmonious finish is different.

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Group restructuring at BP

For BP, on the other hand, the personnel make double sense: The predominantly male management board of the mineral oil company is becoming more diverse – and BP emphasizes that the company is really serious about converting the group to more renewable energies.

After all, Dotzenrath, who has a degree in electrical engineering, is well versed in converting fossil fuels to alternative energies. Since October 2019, she has built up RWE’s new core business, renewables. RWE had given up its subsidiary Innogy in the billion-dollar swap deal with competitor Eon, but took over its activities in the field of wind and solar energy and also the corresponding division from Eon.

Dotzenrath had previously managed renewable energies at Eon. At RWE, she then headed a new division that was one of the biggest players in renewable energies right from the start, sees herself as number two worldwide in offshore wind power, among other things, and has great ambitions.

Dotzenrath’s departure was all the more surprising. After all, she has spent almost her entire career at the two largest energy groups in Germany, RWE and Eon. At that time she even started as a trainee at RWE, after which she took care of sales and networks. After a few years, however, she was initially drawn away from the Ruhr area, abroad and to corporate consultancy. In 2011 she returned to North Rhine-Westphalia as a manager at the energy company Eon.

Dotzenrath was still looking forward to her new role at RWE in 2019, “This is a unique opportunity,” she enthused at the time. The new “opportunity” at BP is not that different from her old job.

BP has big plans for renewable energy

At BP, she comes across a company that is facing a no less difficult transformation. The oil company also has to respond to the challenge of climate protection and wants to invest massively in renewable energies.

Dotzenrath should “help shape the change from an international oil company to an integrated energy company,” said CEO Bernard Looney. She has a “proven track record of transforming and growing businesses.”

“By integrating gas, renewable energies, hydrogen and biofuels on a large scale, we can build a global leader in low-emission energies,” said the new board member herself.

BP aims to develop 20 gigawatts (GW) of renewable energies net by 2025 and a total of 50 GW by 2030. The group plans to invest around two billion dollars in low-emission energies as early as 2021. Investments are expected to rise to three to four billion dollars per year by 2025 and to five billion by 2030. In 2021, BP entered the offshore wind business in both the United States and the United Kingdom, claims to have acquired a large project pipeline in the US solar business and further developed the Lightsource BP solar joint venture.

BP’s renewable energy capacity was around 3.7 gigawatts at the end of the first half of 2021, and a further 21 GW are already in development. At BP, Dotzenrath’s former boss at Eon, Johannes Teyssen, is on the board.
More: Division split up, boss gone: RWE is reorganizing the renewable energy business