BP’s CEO resigning: life without a scapegoat

When something bad happens, people often look for a scapegoat to blame for all that went wrong.

In the case of the Deepwater blowout, that scapegoat was Tony Hayward, the BP’s CEO.

Tony Hayward
Tony Hayward

Today, Hayward announced that he is stepping down from the CEO position and will take a job at BP’s joint venture in Russa.

Hayward certainly didn’t cause the oil spill–he wasn’t even on the rig when it happened. But he was the very public face of BP, and he took the fall for it.

Boy, did he ever.

Maybe Hayward didn’t react the way the public expected when the spill happened. After all, there were reports that he was out yachting with his son when he was supposed to be working out a way to clean up the oil. He claimed he wishes he "had his life back." (Certainly a case of "Be careful what you wish for!")

Well, the public called for his head, and they got it. Hayward is stepping down, and there will be a new sheriff in town (most likely Bob Dudley, who once ran TNK-BP, the Russian company Hayward will go work for).

Will Hayward being gone get the oil spill cleaned up faster? Who knows. But now the torches and pitchforks will be set down for a bit. At least, of course, until they’re pointed at someone else.

What do you think of Hayward leaving his position as CEO of BP? What should Hayward have done while he was CEO?

By Jessica Livingston

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