BP's embattled Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward will be replaced by American Robert Dudley on Oct. 1, the company said Tuesday, as it reported a record quarterly loss and set aside $32.2 billion to cover the costs of the devastating Gulf of Mexico oil spill.
BP said the decision to replace Hayward, 53, with the company's first ever non-British CEO was made by mutual agreement. In a mark of faith in its outgoing leader, BP said it planned to recommend him for a non-executive board position at its Russian joint venture and will pay him 1.045 million pounds ($1.6 million), a year's salary, instead of the year's notice he was entitled to.
"The BP board is deeply saddened to lose a CEO whose success over some three years in driving the performance of the company was so widely and deservedly admired," BP Chairman Carl-Henric Svanberg said in a statement accompanying the quarterly earnings update.
Svanberg said the April 20 explosion of the Macondo well on the Deepwater Horizon platform run by BP in the Gulf of Mexico has been a "watershed incident" for the company.
"BP remains a strong business with fine assets, excellent people and a vital role to play in meeting the world's energy needs," he said. "But it will be a different company going forward, requiring fresh leadership supported by robust governance and a very engaged board."