Main | Friday, June 18, 2010

BP Dumps CEO Tony Heyward From Gulf Oil Spill Cleanup Team

Now that BP CEO Tony Heyward has rightfully become the punching bag of the worldwide press, the oil giant is booting him out of their cleanup operation. And very interestingly, the new guy is an American.
A day after Tony Hayward, the chief executive of BP, was pummeled by members of a House committee over the company’s role in the disastrous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the chairman of the company said in an interview that Mr. Hayward would step away from daily involvement in BP’s enormous response efforts in the gulf. Carl-Henric Svanberg, the chairman of BP, told Sky News that after eight weeks of being on the scene, Mr. Hayward “is now handing over the operations, the daily operations, to Bob Dudley.”

He referred to Robert Dudley, an American oil executive who has been a managing director of BP since 2009. Over five hours of testimony to the oversight and investigations panel of the Energy and Commerce Committee on Thursday, Mr. Hayward repeatedly said he had no direct knowledge of the company’s safety decisions in connection with the stricken well, and refused to speculate about the causes of the oil spill before a company investigation of the accident is completed. His sidestepping of basic questions angered lawmakers, who told him that he was “stonewalling” the committee. Mr. Svanberg, who spoke for the company after a delegation of executives met with President Obama and his aides at the White House on Wednesday, acknowledged that Mr. Hayward has struggled in the public’s perception. “It is clear Tony has made remarks that have upset people,” Mr. Svanberg said to Sky News.
Maybe BP thinks the U.S. public and press will treat an American better.

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