Embattled BP (BP) CEO Tony Hayward, whose penchant for offensive verbal gaffes deepened the psychological wounds caused by the worst oil spill in U.S. history, will step down effective Oct. 1, and likely will be replaced by Bob Dudley, the American who has overseen the company's clean-up efforts in the Gulf of Mexico since June.
According to the Associated Press, Hayward will be taking over as head of BP's joint venture in Russia, TNK-BP, a job formerly held by Dudley until he was forced to flee the country in 2008 after a falling out with the company's Russian partners. The move was widely expected. The financial ramifications are not clear for either Hayward or Dudley.
As Bloomberg News notes, Hayward "may be entitled to receive his pension fund, worth £10.84 million ($16.8 million) at the end of last year, as well as a year's salary of about £1 million. " No word on what Dudley's compensation will be, but it's bound to be substantial. There will no doubt be a bonus tied to the cleanup. Dudley joined BP in 1998 following the $110 billion acquisition of Amoco. He was paid $2.2 million last year, which included a bonus of $1.125 million.
Unlike Hayward, who lacked social graces, media reports describe Dudley as being personable, but with the intestinal fortitude to stand up to Russian strongman Vladimir Putin. That should make dealing with the U.S. Congress seem like a walk in the park.
As for Hayward, he might want to do some reading as he prepares for his new job -- perhaps the works of Alexandr Solzhenitsyn.
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