The former head of MI6 has joined the board of BP plc as a non-executive director.

The company announced it had appointed Sir John Sawers as non-executive director with immediate effect.

He spent 36 years working for the British Government in international affairs and security, and completed his five-year tenure as Chief of MI6, the UK Secret Intelligence Service, in November 2014.

Prior to that, he was the UK’s Ambassador to the United Nations, political director of the Foreign Office, special representative in Iraq, Ambassador to Egypt, and foreign policy advisor to the Prime Minister. In his early career, he worked in the Middle East, South Africa and Washington.

Sir John is now chairman and partner of Macro Advisory Partners LLP. He is also a visiting professor at King’s College London and a governor of The Ditchley Foundation.

Paula Rosput Reynolds, who has over 25 years’ experience in the energy sector, was also appointed as non-executive director.

Carl-Henric Svanberg, chairman of BP, said “We are delighted to welcome Paula and John to the board of BP. Paula has deep experience in the energy and financial services sectors. John brings extensive experience of international affairs and geopolitics. They are both strong additions to the BP board.”