BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg has announced that CEO Tony Hayward is being replaced as the company’s head man on the Gulf oil spill crisis. Svanberg told a British television station that Hayward will be handing over daily operations to BP Managing Director, Bob Dudley.
Other company officials have stated that Hayward was still the man and that the switch had already been announced and isn’t immediate.’Until the acute part of this crisis is over, until the leak is capped, Tony Hayward is still very much in charge in the response of this crisis,’ BP spokesman Robert Wine said.
It is believed this announcement comes after Svanberg’s angered members of Congress by failing to properly answer questions about BP’s actions leading up to the spill. Prior to this announcement it was said that Dudley would not take over the operations until the leak was contained.
It is estimated that between 65 million and 121.6 million gallons of oil have gushed into the Gulf of Mexico from the BP spill.
Wine said Hayward “will at some point hand over the management of the aftermath,” and that Dudley is putting together a team that will “make sure that the long-term impacts are met with as well as the legal, political repercussions from this crisis.” Other company spokespeople also said Hayward was still in charge.
There is no date for the handover, Wine said, because “clearly the well is still leaking.”
Some positive news came Friday on the cleanup effort. Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen announced that a newly expanded containment system is capturing or incinerating more than 1 million gallons of oil daily, the first time it has approached its peak capacity.
By late June, the oil giant hopes it can keep nearly 90 percent of the flow from hitting the ocean.
Relief wells that won’t be done until late August are still the best bet to stop the massive spill that was set off by an oil rig explosion that killed 11 workers on April 20. BP has been hammered for its response, in part because of comments by Hayward that Gulf Coast residents horrified by the spill consider insensitive.
Hayward shocked residents in slick-hit Louisiana by saying, ‘I would like my life back.’
On Thursday, Hayward told lawmakers on a U.S. House investigations panel that he was out of the loop on decisions surrounding the blown well. Both Democrats and Republicans were infuriated when he asserted, ‘I’m not stonewalling.’
‘It is clear that Tony has made remarks that have upset people,’ said Svanberg, who made a misstep of his own this week when he said BP cares ‘about the small people.’
Dudley, an American-born oil man with more than 30 years in the industry, has been BP’s managing director since 2009. His responsibilities include broad oversight of the company’s activities in the Americas and Asia, and earlier this month he was named head of the company’s disaster management unit.
‘Whether this change in Gulf leadership for BP will be productive remains to be seen,” said Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich. “I expect that Mr. Dudley will take a much more cooperative and open approach to answering our questions and responding to the needs of the Gulf region. If not, his tenure will likely be as short lived as Mr. Hayward’s.’
source: Associated Press