Geoff Morrell | Influence 100

Geoff Morrell 

EVP Communications & Advocacy



Geoff Morrell moved to London in 2017 to take over leading BP’s communications and external affairs. He made the move after spending the previous six years heading BP America’s communications and government relations teams — which included helping rebuild BP’s reputation following the Deepwater Horizon accident.  In his role, Morrell oversees communications, government relations and public affairs for the British multinational oil and gas company.

It’s certainly a notable time for the energy industry. The pandemic gutted demand and forced many, including BP, to accelerate their investments in low-carbon energy. BP last year announced plans to cut oil and gas production by 40% and invest more heavily in clean energy.

Morell came to BP from the US Department of Defense, where he worked as Pentagon press secretary and served as chief spokesman for Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and the United States military. He was appointed by President Bush in June 2007 and, in an unprecedented move, was asked to stay on in that position by President Barack Obama, making him particularly well-versed in public affairs challenges. Before his time in the Pentagon, Morell spent 15 years as a television news correspondent, including seven years with ABC News, where he covered the White House.

Can you share a moment in your career when you saw PR’s direct impact on business performance?
Deepwater Horizon and post-spill at BP.

What are the communications industry's biggest challenges and opportunities in the year ahead?

What have you most admired about this industry over the past year?

What has most disappointed you about this industry over the past year?
Herd mentality.

How have you switched off from work and maintained wellness in lockdown?
Not enough.

Which book/movie/TV show/podcast/playlist/other cultural source has helped you get through this year or provided inspiration?
The Splendid & The Vile by Erik Larsen.

If I wasn't working in marketing/communications, I would be...
In government or playing golf.

Sum up 2021 in one word.