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This news should surprise exactly no one: BP CEO Tony Hayward, who let fly gaffe after gaffe during his company's oil spill response, is set to resign. But it turns out devastating the Gulf's habitats and economy can be a pretty lucrative business, even for someone who can't seem to figure out how to get his foot out of his mouth. Hayward will resign in October, with a severance package totaling $17 million, sources say. And sure, it's a common thing to voice populist outrage when crummy CEOs get fired and walks away with millions of dollars. And maybe I'm viewing this development through something of a personal lens, having spent the last few months incessantly reading BP Gulf spill news. But I can't help but be irked.
It may be a purely emotional retort, but the fact that Hayward is getting rewarded with more money than, say, all of the fishermen who work in oil spill ground zero Venice, Louisiana, make combined. That is, made. Before the disaster. Now, those men will struggle to make ends meet for years to come, with the Gulf soiled and only so many cleanup jobs available for so long. One man is walking away from this mess richer than most of us could ever imagine -- for being woefully unprepared and doing an all around crappy job, even at PR. Just saying.
And don't you worry about poor Tony -- he'll have another job in the oil biz lined up for him when he goes. Anyhow, here's the news, via CBS:
An official said today that Tony Hayward will step down from his position as CEO of the oil giant BP in October. The official also said Hayward will take a job with the company's joint venture in Russia, TNK-BP.Hayward is likely waiting until October to step down so that the media circus around the spill will have quieted by then, allowing the next CEO (which looks like it may be the first American to ever lead the company, certainly a move designed to strengthen US ties) a relatively clean slate.
It's not yet clear what Hayward's role will be with TNK-BP. BP owns half of the oil firm, which is Russia's third-largest. It was once run by American Bob Dudley, BP's Managing Director and now the odds-on favorite to replace Hayward as CEO.
After Hayward made a series of missteps, including telling reporters he wanted his life back as Gulf residents struggled to deal with the spill, Dudley took over as BP's point man in dealing with it. He was in London Monday with other board members.
Either way, looks like at long last, Tony Hayward has got his life back.