Mr Ford, 58, joined the board of BP in January 2000, following the merger of BP with Amoco in 1998. Prior to the merger he was executive vice president of Amoco Corporation, having been with Amoco since 1970.
The board expressed its appreciation to Mr Ford for his valuable contribution as a director and for his leadership in a number of major initiatives in the downstream business over the last two years. His board responsibility for downstream will be assumed by Mr Rodney Chase, BP deputy chief executive.
BP group chief executive Lord Browne said: "I also wish to express my thanks to Doug Ford for his considerable contribution to the progress that this company has made since the merger with Amoco. As we have strong succession plans in place, we have felt able to respond to Doug's desire to return to the US for personal reasons."