Photo via US Coast Guard
It was a surprise to absolutely nobody when news surfaced this week that BP's gaffe-prone CEO Tony Hayward would be resigning in coming months (that he'd be snagging a handsome $17 million pension for a job not-so-well-done was another story). But before Hayward could allow himself to fade from the public eye, he just had to go and demonstrate his general lack of tact and sensitivity to the destruction his company has brought about one last time ...First, he made headlines across the pond when he decided to snub the Senate hearings on the oil spill -- saying that sorry, he was just too busy. The Guardian's headline and subhead to that story are as follows: "Tony Hayward's parting shot: 'I'm too busy to attend Senate hearing' : Oil company risks further damage to US relations with snub to committee and claim it is model of social responsibility." And here are the details:
The Senate foreign relations committee has asked Hayward to appear in Washington to explain BP's alleged role in influencing the release of the Lockerbie bomber in order to win drilling rights in Libya.And believe it or not, things go further downhill from there. The paper reports on Hayward's recent public comments about his unfair treatment as BP's CEO during the Gulf spill:
But Hayward said today he could not go because "I have got a busy week [in the office]". BP said it would send another representative to testify at the hearing.
This infuriated committee member Robert Menendez who made reference to the BP boss's pay-off - a year's salary and his pension pot, together worth £11m. "It is apparently more important to BP and Mr Hayward to focus on his multimillion dollar golden parachute than to help answer serious questions about whether the company advocated trading blood for oil," he said.
Hayward hinted that he felt he had received an inappropriate level of abuse. "Whether it is fair or unfair is not the point. I became the public face and was demonised and vilified. BP cannot move on in the US with me as its leader," he said, adding that like many aspects of everyday existence "life isn't fair ... sometimes you step off the pavement and get hit by a bus".This certainly isn't as offensive as his 'I want my life back' laments or as stupid as his comments that the spill was 'relatively tiny'. But it's pretty hard to respect anyone who feels sorry for himself after steering his ship into the biggest environmental disaster in US history, and bungling the response. Well, we won't have to feel sorry for ol' Tony anymore, now that he's off to Russia in another high-paying oil industry job. Poor guy.
More on the BP Gulf Spill
BP CEO Tony Hayward: "I'd Like My Life Back" (Video)
BP CEO Tony Hayward Removed from Gulf Operations