BP’s Chairman of the Board, Carl-Henric Svanberg has removed Tony Hayward from overseeing the oil spill operations. The move came after Hayward’s dismal performance in front of a Congressional panel last week. BP’s chairman placed Bob Dudley, the managing director of the company in charge of spill operations. This is a fairly significant change for the oil giant, but Mr. Dudey’s track record in environmental clean up efforts is unknown. BP’s Chairman was interviewed on Sky News, UK and stated that CEO’s Hayward’s public comments have upset a lot of people, “It is clear Tony has made remarks that have upset people,” Mr. Svanberg said. The chairman explained that Mr. Hayward left Britain for the US after the explosion with the express purpose of dealing with the response to the spill, but stopping the flow has not gone to plan. “This has now turned into a reputation matter, a financial squeeze for BP and a political matter and that is why you will now see more of me,” Mr. Svanberg said. Unfortunately, Mr. Svanberg’s involvement has come too late. BP could have shut down the well through a controlled explosion, similar to what the Russians accomplished from a similar fallout. They could have evaluated that option within the first week of the spill. If BP had acted decisively during the first week, the financial and political fallout would have not existed. It would have been the right thing to do for their shareholders, the public, and the environment. Even though BP has pledged $20 billion in an effort to minimize future litigation, it’s not definitive if that amount will suffice in cleaning up this debacle. Terminating the well would have given them the political and financial resources to go back and dig a new well to replace the old one, without the consequences they will now be facing. It would have been a short-term loss, versus a long term one that their chairman now faces.
Photo: BP Chairman Svanberg and CEO Hayward Photo Courtesy: NY Daily News