As BP posted a record loss of £11 odd billion the outgoing chief executive, Tony Hayward, is reportedly to receive a £1 million pay off together with a pension worth in the region of £500,000 a year.

The losses were as a result of the company putting over £20 billion aside to cover the costs of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill clean-up caused by the explosion on the oil rig Deepwater Horizon, which killed eleven people on 20th April 2010.

On the news of the losses BP’s share price dropped a mere 1p. This was because the markets had already priced these sorts of numbers into the equation over the preceding days and weeks. BP’s figures were also bolstered by the increased price of oil.

Hayward will be replaced by Bob Dudley, who has a long history with BP and is currently engaged in cleaning up the spill.

The BP chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg said "The tragedy of the Macondo well explosion and subsequent environmental damage has been a watershed incident, …. It will be a different company going forward, requiring fresh leadership, supported by robust governance and a very engaged board." But according to Tony Hayward’s testimony to the US Senate Energy and Commerce Sub-Committee, that was why he, Hayward, had been brought in! To make BP a different company.

Being an American the new Chief Executive may present a more acceptable face to the US. Especially now as BP will be fighting legal battles and for the rights to continue to explore and drill for oil off the US coastline.

Tony Hayward is believed to be taking a post as a non executive director of BP’s joint venture TNK-BP after leaving his current position in October / November.

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