This article was originally published on The Daily Hurricane
CBS is now reporting that Tony Hayward, embattled yacht racing CEO of BPplc, will be stepping down in October, moving to take a job at the company’s joint venture in Russia, TNK-BP. I guess they figure he can’t screw that up much, or else the Ruskies will ship him off to Siberia for a little ice dancing and potato peeling. Bloomberg is also reporting that American Bob Dudley will replace Hayward.
Brought in on the heels of Sir John Browne’s disastrous tenure, everyone had high hopes that Hayward would usher in a new era of corporate responsibility and safe operations for BP. Unfortunately, the DNA of the Anglo-Persian Oil Company, which exploited Iran’s oil resources for 70 years enslaving tens of thousands of Iranians, then compelling the US to use the CIA to overthrow a democratically elected prime minister in order to reinstate a corrupt Shah runs deep in BP. Even with the new corporate name, along with the green and yellow daisy logo, they can’t seem to break out of robber-barron mode. Hopefully, Dudley can have some influence, but as long as their Chairman of the Board is an aristocratic Swede who looks at all others as “small people“, I don’t have a lot of hope.
I’ll refrain from calling Hayward a Toffee-Nosed, Yacht-Racing-Snob as others have called him. I’ll just continue to hope that without him, BP will at some point have a chance gain a soul and remember the now 26 Americans who have been killed in two BP accidents, 5 years apart. Safe operations and profit are not mutually exclusive. You just need a management who cares enough to make it so.
Bob Cavnar is the author of the first book on the Gulf Oil Spill, Disaster on the Horizon.