Yesterday the Times of London reported (paywall) that BP's tone deaf CEO was stepping down. Tony Hayward—who infamously predicted that "the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to have been very, very modest" and later struck a tone of breathtaking self-pity when he said, "There's no one who wants this thing over more than I do, I'd like my life back"—was reportedly on his way out within 10 weeks.
"Why keep utterly damaged goods on the shelf?" a BP source asked. "They have to do some dramatic things to protect the company, and his credibility is now close to zero. 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 by the event itself." But in public, the company is standing by their man, and a spokesman told CNN, "There is no truth in this article. Mr. Hayward is not leaving."
But the BP insider insisted that BP is desperate to survive the threat of a buyout by ExxonMobil or Royal Dutch Shell, and is planning some major changes, like a new P.R. strategy called "Future BP." That ought to turn this thing around! Also, there's buzz that Robert Dudley, an American oil executive who has been running BP’s Gulf Coast Restoration Organization, is the front-runner to replace Hayward, the Post reports.
Meanwhile, back at the Gulf, Retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen is saying that seepage 2 miles from BP's oil cap is coming from another older well no longer in production, alleviating fears that BP's capped well is buckling under the pressure. See, it's just another well leaking oil into the ocean, NBD. Oh, and those five other leaks in and around BP's well? Allen says they're just "very small drips" and "not unlike an oil leak you might have in your car." If Allen keeps talking like this, maybe he'll get his life back, too.