In as much as the controversy that BP has been facing for months, its CEO, Tony Hayward has been dealing with so much scrutiny on the way he handled the situation. The US government, especially the US congressmen were not happy with all his answers when we faced them on an energy and commerce hearing last month. They marked him as “stonewalling” questions and of “kicking the can [of responsibility] down the road”. He even released a statement that he wanted his life back and that the Gulf is a “big ocean” after the leak has happened.
BBC Business Editor, Robert Peston has quoted “If the moment has more or less arrived for BP to start building a post-Macondo future, then it also needs a new public face, a new leader” pertaining that it would be better for Hayward to step down from his position. A news report from BBC said that Mr. Hayward has been negotiating the terms of his exit, with a formal announcement likely within 24 hours.
Investors has feared that the presence of Hayward in the company would most likely bring difficulty for the company to rebuild its damaged reputation. Last week, when all these speculations of Hayward’s exit spread, the company has released a statement that he (Mr. Hayward) “remains our chief executive and has the full support of the board and senior management”. However, BP spokesperson didn’t press this issue at this time. Mr. Hayward has been in the company for 28 long years.
The person has been eyed to replace him is Bob Dudley, the one who took over the day-to-day operations in the Gulf of Mexico last month. He joined the board last April 2009. As to a lot of commentators, Dudley being an American and having the American accent would be advantageous. In addition, he grew up in Mississippi and, according to BP, has a “deep appreciation and affinity for the Gulf Coast”.
The company has been currently quantifying the loss that they got from this massive oil spill and has been expected to set aside $30bn (£19bn) for the costs of capping the well, compensation claims and fines. This would mean a massive loss of this quarter’s income. They are due to release its 2nd quarter results on Tuesday.