London — BP is jettisoning CEO Tony Hayward, whose verbal blunders made the oil giant’s image even worse as it struggled to contain the Gulf oil spill, and will assign him to a key job in Russia, a person familiar with the matter said Monday.
Hayward is set to step down in October and take a post at TNK-BP, the company’s joint venture in Russia, according to the person, who spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made by the British company’s board.
The move was being made more than three months after an oil rig explosion set off the spill and less than two weeks after a temporary cap finally stopped the oil from leaking. The government’s oil spill chief, retired Coast Guard Adm. Thad Allen, said in Washington on Monday that efforts to solidly seal BP’s busted deep-sea well are set to begin in a week.
Moving Hayward gives BP a chance to make a fresh start. BP executive Robert Dudley, an American who has been overseeing oil spill recovery efforts, is likely to be his successor.
The board met Monday, but it was unclear whether it had made the demotion official. A statement was expected early today.