BP's Hayward handing over management of Gulf spill: chairman

18th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

BP chief executive Tony Hayward is in the process of handing over day-to-day management of the Gulf oil leak operation to another top manager, Bob Dudley, BP chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg said Friday.

BP announced the appointment of Dudley earlier this month as head of BP's new disaster management unit, but did not specify a timetable for transferring responsibilies.

In an interview with British broadcaster Sky News, Svanberg said the transfer to Dudley, a US national and managing director of the energy giant, was already occurring.

"Our focus in the management team has been to close that well, to clean up the beaches and make sure that we compensate those that have suffered, and that has been everything on our agenda," he said.

"Right after the explosion (Hayward) went out there and he has been leading the response ever since," he said. "I think everyone believed it to be something we could deal with faster, then he would come back...

"And now he's been around for eight weeks, he's now handing over the daily operations to Bob Dudley, and he will be more home, and be there and be here," he told the British broadcaster.

The announcement came a day after Hayward, so far BP's main public face for its clean-up operation, faced a barrage of hostile questions from US lawmakers about the spill that ripped through the BP-leased Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

Hayward, a Briton, has faced growing US anger about a series of blunders in the wake of the April 20 explosion, which killed 11 workers and triggered the worst man-made environmental disaster in US history.

BP currently has some 23,000 employees in the United States. It also claims around 75,000 retirees from the firm and its subsidiaries and holds over 500,000 retail shareholders in the country.

© 2010 AFP

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