Friday, June 18, 2010

Sky TV: Tony Hayward Given the Sack

Just a few minutes ago, Sky TV a UK-based satellite TV company reported that Tony Hayward, the new former head of BP America has been given the sack. In an exclusive interview with Sweden’s Carl-Henric “Small People” Svanberg, the worldwide BP CEO, Svanberg announced that Tony Hayward was being replaced by Bob Dudley.

“Mr Svanberg also told [Sky TV’s Jeff] Randall that comments by Mr Hayward have had detrimental effects as the company seeks to control the fallout from the disaster.”

“‘It is clear Tony has made remarks that have upset people,’ Mr Svanberg said.”

“Mr Svanberg admitted that the disaster is turning from an industrial accident into a much broader concern and he will now expand his own involvement.”
Svanberg “will expand his own involvement.” Well that should fix things.

Svanberg should be somewhat of an expert in making people upset, having done so himself in some rather insensitive remarks that he made in his statement that he made immediately following his visit with Barack Obama on Wednesday, calling the hard-working people whose livelihoods have been disrupted by his company’s malfeasance “small people.”

The only difference between Svanberg’s statements, and Hayward’s is basically accent. Americans are unused to Swedish accents, but perceive those with British accents to be talking down to us. Svanberg, however, overcame that distinction by his incredibly poor choice of words.

Knowing how these things play out in oil and gas, it is evident to me now that Hayward knew his fate long before entering the congressional hearing room yesterday, schooled himself in deflection, earning himself a unified American outrage that then allowed BP to behead BP America, sending Hayward home as the scapegoat. BP used the oldest trick in the books, in other words, the old bait and switch.

Because now we have Bob Dudley to kick around.


Dudley is a recently appointed director in BP Group for all of BP’s activities in America and Asia. So this is, what, a demotion? A trial by fire? Prior to that he was CEO of TNK-BP, the Russia-based operations of BP.

Dudley came up through the ranks through his employment at the former Amoco, a US-based company that was gobbled up by BP in the late 90’s.

That’s right. Bob Dudley is an American.

Solves the problem of the accents, doesn’t it?

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