BP chief Hayward to quit: report

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BP chief executive Tony Hayward is to step down within 10 weeks in a bid to help the British-based oil firm recover from the Gulf of Mexico spill, The Times newspaper said, citing sources close to BP.

The daily said the 53-year-old would resign before October 1, assuming the ruptured Macondo well had been permanently sealed by then.

Its sources said there was a growing expectation that Hayward would announce his departure in late August or September.

The Times quoted one insider as saying: "People may not blame this situation on Tony Hayward, but you would be hard-pushed to find anyone within the company who does not think he is irreparably damaged -- both by his own performance and the event itself."

American oil executive Robert Dudley, who was appointed last month to handle the Gulf of Mexico situation, is considered the front-runner for Hayward's job, The Times said.

A BP spokeswoman told AFP: "Mr Hayward remains in place and has the support of the management and the board."

© 2010 AFP

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