BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg has unceremoniously announced that CEO Tony Hayward will no longer be managing the day-to-day operations of the Gulf cleanup effort.
During an interview with Britain's Sky News, Svanberg said responsibility will be handed over to Bob Dudley, managing director of the company. It's a dramatic change of strategy for the oil giant, which has allowed chief executive Hayward -- who infamously told reporters, "There's no one who wants this over more than I do, I'd like my life back" -- to be the public face of the company in interviews, apology ads and press conferences.
"It is clear Tony has made remarks that have upset people," Mr Svanberg said.
The chairman explained that Mr Hayward left Britain for the US after the explosion with the express purpose of dealing with the response to the spill, but stopping the flow has not gone to plan. [...]
"This has now turned into a reputation matter, a financial squeeze for BP and a political matter and that is why you will now see more of me," Mr Svanberg said.
The move comes after the extremely harsh congressional hearings on Thursday where representatives accused Hayward of stonewalling, obstruction and incompetence. (Watch HuffPost's mashup of the day-long hearing in four minutes.)
The Guardian reported that such changes were afoot on June 4th, but Svanberg's comment appears to be among the first public confirmation of the change.