BP’s board has approved the pay-off deal for Tony Hayward, according to one press report, and will announce the new company boss today. Hayward is expected to get a substantial pay-off and pension deal.
If confirmed, it is likely to be hugely controversial. Hayward has been vilified in the US in the wake of the Gulf oil disaster: over his handling of the response, for supposedly evasive replies before a congressional hearing, and for a series of gaffes such as saying he just wanted his “life back”.
By contrast, the man expected to replace him is seen as a model diplomat. Bob Dudley has been overseeing the clean-up operation; the fact that he is an American who grew up in the South may also temper US criticism of BP.
While the work on plugging the leak is back on track, the company is preparing to report what is expected to be a massive second-quarter loss given the cost of the spill.
Even so, BP shares rose in London and New York as investors hailed Hayward’s expected departure. One report says he is being lined up for a post with BP’s Russian joint venture, TNK-BP.