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BP CEO Hayward On His Way Out

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BP announced this morning that CEO Tony Hayward will step down from his post on October 1. Hayward’s handling of the massive BP oil spill has been a source of criticism and embarrassment for several months now, and its been widely speculated that he would be removed from the CEO job.

BP’s board met yesterday to discuss Hayward’s fate. The 53-year-old Hayward will stay on the BP board until November 30. BP also plans to nominate him as a non-executive director of TNK-BP, the company’s Russian joint venture.

His removal from the CEO post won’t leave Hayward in the same dire economic straits that so many Gulf of Mexico fishermen have found themselves in since the BP oil spill took away their livelihoods. When he leaves, Hayward will receive a payoff of more than $1.6 million. He’ll also be entitled to draw an annual pension of 600,000 pounds ($928,000).

So far the oil spill has costs BP in the neighborhood of $32 billion.

Since the April 20 explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon oil rig, Hayward has been criticized for a series of insensitive remarks. Just six weeks after the blast that killed 11 men, Hayward commented to a reporter that ‘I would like my life back.’ He also appeared to minimize the disaster, saying at one point that the spill was ‘relatively tiny’ compared with the ‘very big ocean’.

Hayward also didn’t help his own cause much when he was spent a day at a yacht race in June, during the height of the disaster.

Hayward will be replaced by American Bob Dudley. Dudley has been overseeing the company’s response to the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

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