BP’s huge loss - a good day to ‘bury’ Tony Hayward
Bob Dudley expected to replace Tony Hayward at BP as second quarter results plummet into the red
The BP board is expected to decide the fate of Tony Hayward at an eve-of-results meeting today - if it has not done so already. And it is widely expected that the beleaguered CEO will go quickly, taking with him a £1m pay-off, a £10.8m pension pot and a healthy shareholding - currently valued at about £2.7m, and doubtless worth a lot more once a new man is at the helm.
It is generally reckoned that the oil giant did not want to push Hayward overboard while the Macondo spill was at full-spew. But with the cap now holding, the relief well nearly complete, and an end in sight to the long, sorry saga in the Gulf of Mexico, everyone's ready to move on.
Bob Dudley, the American managing director of BP, who recently took over responsibility for the Gulf clean-up and compensation programme, is the man most likely to take over as CEO. As The First Post reported last month, Dudley has handled the local difficulties with aplomb, relative to Hayward's generally awkward, gaffe-prone style.
Another contender said to have board support is Iain Conn, the Scot who currently heads refining and marketing at BP.
There was speculation earlier this month that the group might also offload its chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg. But he is thought to be safe for the time being.
Chances are Hayward's departure will be announced on Tuesday - a good day to bury bad news, as the spin-doctors might say, because BP's second-quarter results are expected to be grim reading. With the Gulf clean-up and compensation costs approaching $30bn, Barclays Capital reckons the group will be posting a $13bn loss - thought to be the largest single-quarter deficit in British corporate history.
Meanwhile, according to a report in the Observer, BP's internal inquiry into the cause of the Gulf spill has found no evidence of gross negligence on BP's part.
As a result, it will "robustly defend itself" against any claims that it cut corners on standard oil industry safety measures. ·
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