Tony Hayward is leaving BP in a whirlwind of controversy and the new man to replace him is expected to better handle the future of BP as well as the media. The replacement is an American named Robert “Bob” Dudley. Dudley had already been serving as head of the BP clean up operation in the Gulf.
Dudley is a life long oil industry man, but just recently joined BP only 18 months ago. He was considered the best to handle the environmental crisis in the Gulf and was appointed the main man after Tony Hayward blundered interviews with the media and his US Congressional questioning.
Dudley worked for Amoco before BP took on the oil company in a takeover merger. He gained recognition when he took on Russian Shareholders during an issue with the joint venture TNK-BP.
He has been married for 30 years and has two children. He holds a chemical engineering degree from the University of Illinois and a Masters in Business Administration from Southern Methodist University.
Dudley, who has been described as a “strong core, no-nonsense southerner” will need top diplomatic and leadership skills to repair the damage that has been done to BP these last few months.
Americans are more likely to see another American as being more sympathetic to the tragedy that the oil well explosion has left the US. Whereas Tony Hayward appeared indifferent to most and did not do well with media having once commented “I want my life back.” In addition, a change in leadership signals to shareholders that BP is trying to repair damage from every corner of the company.
Dudley is expected to take the reigns of BP on October 1.