BP's Tony Hayward, whose gaffes added insult to oil-spill injury for the Gulf Coast, is on his way out as CEO, a U.S. government official said Sunday. Many residents found small comfort in that as BP's biggest mistake under Hayward continued to foul their waters, their beaches and their way of life.
A change in leadership will not change the mammoth tasks ahead of BP, from stopping the offshore oil gusher for good, to cleaning up the millions of gallons that have already leaked, to paying billions in claims - all while defending its stock price and repairing its battered reputation.
The senior U.S. official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because an announcement had not been made, was briefed on the decision by a senior BP official late last week.
The government official did not know who will replace Hayward or when it will happen.
One of the most likely successors is BP Managing Director Bob Dudley, who is currently overseeing the British company's spill response and would be BP's first American CEO if he is chosen. It is unclear if he would be juggling leadership of BP with oil-spill duties - just as Hayward once did - or whether he would delegate that duty to someone else.