It is official that Tony Hayward will be leaving his current post at BP on October 1. His successor will be Robert Dudley. Interestingly enough, Mr. Hayward will be leading BP’s Russian asset venture of TNK-BP which was once headed by Robert Dudley. Other than US BP, TNK-BP is BP’s most important asset.
Mr. Hayward said in a conference call to reporters: “Today is a very sad day for me. I’ve spent my entire professional career at BP. I love the company and everything it stands for.”
He added, “for the good of BP, and particularly the good of BP in the US, it’s the right thing to do for me to step down.”
Mr. Hayward’s voice was described by reporters taking part in the conference call as somber, yet relieved.
“I became, as the face of BP, the lightning rod for very understandable anger and frustration across a very broad cross section of US public,” Hayward said. “I think that was an inevitable consequence of leading the response.”
“Whether we dealt with the politics appropriately all the way through, I’ll leave others to judge.”
“We mounted the largest response to an environmental incident and industrial accident the world has ever seen. There are 45,000 people involved in that response, thousands of ships and an unprecedented sub-sea intervention,” he said.
Hayward expressed that the Gulf oil well blowout and resulting environmental crusis is one for which the whole deep water drilling industry should take responsibility for and learn from, not just BP.