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BP's chief executive Tony Hayward is set to step down as head of the British-based oil giant, following criticism of his handling of the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. BP is expected to announce his departure later today.
BP's board met late Monday in London to decide its CEO's fate. A source says Tony Hayward, who became the face of BP's flailing efforts to contain the massive Gulf oil spill, will step down in October. Hayward is expected to be replaced by Bob Dudley, an American currently in charge of the clean-up operation in the Gulf. The outgoing CEO will be offered a job with TNK-BP, the company's joint venture in Russia. It's not yet clear what Hayward's role will be with the company.
Hayward has been under pressure to step down over what is seen as his lack of compassion, for the oil workers and residents harmed by the spill. He told reporters he wanted his life back, as Gulf residents struggled to cope with the spill.
Jane Coffey, Royal London Asset Management said "He is the CEO, and as CEO he is responsible for the company. And therefore he is going to have to carry the can, he is ultimately the one in charge."
Despite the likely change in company leadership, BP has announced earnings for the second quarter. And the business secretary was optimistic about the company's future.
Vince Cable, British Business Secretary said "It's stood up to this pounding. It's a very strong company, it's a very good cash flow. Now that the technical problems are beginning to be addressed, I'm sure it will come through this in one piece."
Efforts to permanently plug the ruptured well are under way, after a tropical storm last week forced BP to temporarily suspend operations.