BP CEO to be replaced

Chairman announces successor to begin after oil spill is contained.

By ASSOCIATED PRESS
June 19, 2010 06:35
2 minute read.
Crew members of the Joe Griffin look at the oil sl

oil spill recovery 311. (photo credit: AP)

NEW ORLEANS — BP's chairman said Friday that CEO Tony Hayward is on his way out as the company's point man on the Gulf oil spill crisis, a day after Hayward enraged members of Congress by offering few answers about how the environmental disaster happened. Other BP officials, however, said the switch had been previously announced and will not take place for some time.

BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg told Britain's Sky News television on Friday that Hayward "is now handing over the operations, the daily operations to (BP Managing Director) Bob Dudley." BP had said this month that Dudley would take over the long-term response to the spill once the leak was stopped, but millions of gallons (liters) continue to spew and that milestone remains months away.

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"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.

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."

There is no date for the handover, Wine said, because "clearly the well is still leaking."

Earlier on Friday, Anadarko Petroleum,  BP's partner in the oil well, had its chief executive, Jim Hackett, give its view of the accident. He did not mince words. In a statement, Hackett said he was "shocked" by information that has emerged from investigations of the accident. He said it "indicates BP operated unsafely and failed to monitor and react to several critical warning signs during the drilling of the Macondo well."

Anadarko's statement contrasted with the testimony of BP's chief executive who told a congressional committee Thursday that it was too soon to reach conclusions about the disaster's causes.

Hackett's comments have huge financial implications. As a 25 percent partner in the well, Anadarko would ordinarily be responsible for a quarter of all cleanup and damage costs. But, Hackett said, "BP's behavior and actions likely represent gross negligence or willful misconduct and thus affect the obligations of the parties under the operating agreement." He said Anadarko would donate to charity and civic groups any proceeds it receives from the sale of oil collected during the cleanup.


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