BP’s stock has plummeted losing half of its value in just 60 days. Tony Hayward has lost half of his rear end after a thorough chastising in the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee. Now, Tony Hayward has lost half of his job.
So much for getting his life back.
As part of an ongoing campaign to improve a battered public image, BP announced Friday that Robert Dudley, a leftover director from BP’s Amoco acquisition, would take over the day to day response operations related to the Gulf spill. Ironically, BP Chairman Carl-Henric ‘We Care About the Small People’ Svanberg cited Tony’s “remarks that have upset people” as a catalyst for the change up. Svanberg’s own comment about the small people was dismissed as lost in translation, but can be more accurately described as rephrasing a statement of concern for the “little guy” that has been made by the President himself several times.
Even with a 50 million dollar media campaign, BP’s ‘beyond publicity’ strategy couldn’t sustain anymore frat boy comments or ‘slips’ in translation. A long list of Tony’s Tongue Teasers include such gems as “What the hell did we do to deserve this?” made to other executives on April 29th and the now infamous “I’d like my life back” turned out to be just an appetizer. The main course was served in front of the House Energy and Commerce subcommittee on oversight and investigation.
After his standard and scripted “personally devastated” apology, Tony went on to tell the House that he “was not involved in the decision-making process.” When pressed by Rep. Bart Stupak about putting profit ahead of safety, Chief Excuse Officer Hayward promised that “if there is evidence people put cost ahead of safety, then I will take action.”
According to a recent OSHA report, BP was cited for 862 violations between June 20007 and February of 2010, of which 760 were classified as “egregious willful” by the safety agency. In 2009, OSHA broke records by proposing fines to BP of over $87 million for refusal to correct safety hazards. The amount shattered BP’s previous 2005 record of $21 million for similar infractions.
In light of these recent events, it was no surprise that Robert Dudley has been poised to take control of the clean up for the last two weeks. The year 2008 saw Robert Dudley ousted from his post in Russia as head of TNK-BP by the other part owner AlfaAccessRenova. Mr. Dudley left Russia after tensions between BP and AAR intensified.
This situation may be a chance at redemption for Dudley, however, with a growing public disapproval of BPs posture and a Congressional inquiry creating just enough space for him to squeeze between the rock and the hard place, we may find him soon wishing himself back to Russia.