BP CEO Tony Hayward turned out not to be quite the star of yesterday’s congressional hearings. Rep. Barton usurped that role. But it seems like the upshot of recent events will be to push Hayward if not out of his job then at least out of the role of public face for BP in the oil spill crisis. BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg gave an interview to Britain’s Sky TV today that Hayward is going to be replaced as public spokesman/manager for the company’s oil spill response by Bob Dudley, the managing director of the company.
The general switch in emphasis was announced more than a week ago. But there seemed to be a little more edge to the comments today.
“It is clear Tony has made remarks that have upset people,” Mr Svanberg told Sky.
In general, Svanberg’s interview left little question that he thinks Hayward, or at least his public role in the disaster response, has become a liability to the company. And the interviewer Jeff Randall suggested that the most significant part of the interview was Svanberg’s considered lack of strong public backing for Hayward.
Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.