Andrew Clark
London Guardian
July 26, 2010

There won’t be any tears shed over Tony Hayward’s departure in the US, where “good riddance” was the overriding sentiment in response to news that the BP boss is walking the plank.

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From Washington to the Gulf Coast, attitudes to Hayward are resoundingly hostile, with anger fuelled by the BP boss’s early attempts to play down the environmental scope of the Deepwater Horizon spill and by his stonewalling in response to questioning in Congress.

Tyson Slocum, director of energy campaigns at the Washington-based pressure group Public Citizen, described Hayward’s departure as “the minimum” needed from BP to begin restoring public confidence: “This company has to show the American public and lawmakers that there is going to be accountability. The buck has to stop somewhere and in a corporation, it stops with the CEO.”

One tabloid paper, the New York Daily News, described Hayward as the “most hated – and clueless – man in America” and described his departure as “a BP top kill that works”. Rosabeth Moss Kanter, a management expert at Harvard Business School, published a list of leadership “anti-rules” modelled on Hayward including advice to minimise problems, emphasise your own importance, never apologise and “don’t even pretend to learn from your mistakes”.


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