New York For BP, removing Tony Hayward is just the beginning. His successor still faces what could be decades of cleaning up and paying for one of the worst environmental disasters in U.S. history.
Experts said Sunday that the new chief must also persuade thousands of employees to embrace a culture of safety that Hayward apparently failed to instill. He’ll need to mend fences among BP’s partners in the Gulf and convince the U.S. government and public they can trust it to safely do business here.
And the stock market will be watching carefully as well. Any sign of financial trouble could discourage both current and prospective shareholders. BP shares have dropped $77 billion in value since the April 20 rig explosion that set off the spill.
One piece of good news for the new CEO: This person is inheriting a company with vast resources. Most experts believe BP has deep enough pockets to clean the Gulf and turn around its sullied reputation.