Geoff Morrell, SVP, communications and external affairs, BP: Power List 2017

2017 rank: 22

Geoff Morrell has worked his way through BP’s communications team over his six years with the company and he will take the helm of global communications this summer.

Morrell joined BP as head of U.S. comms only a year after the disastrous Deepwater Horizon oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, which launched the company into an ongoing crisis that has persisted for years. He was part of the team that rebuilt BP’s comms function from the ground up to better respond to a major crisis such as the spill.

However, he believes the company’s reputation is now much better. It was something that "took a lot of work by a lot of people," he said in a profile in mid-2016.

"Some may say that’s not saying much, but there is no guarantee you’re ever going to recover from a tragedy of that magnitude," Morrell continued.

His 25-year career began as a reporter at TV news stations around the country, and he was eventually White House correspondent for ABC News for seven years. After his time in journalism, he served in the demanding role of Pentagon press secretary for four years during critical moments of the Iraq War, and the killing of Osama bin Laden.

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