NEW ORLEANS — Gaffe-prone BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward — who incensed many on the Gulf Coast by saying he wanted his life back as they struggled with the fallout from the company’s massive oil spill — will be replaced, a senior U.S. government official said Sunday.
The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity because an announcement had not been made, was briefed on the decision by a senior BP official late last week.
The government official did not know who will replace Hayward or when it will happen. One of the most likely successors is BP Managing Director Bob Dudley, who is currently overseeing the British company’s spill response.
Earlier Sunday, BP spokesman Toby Odone seemed to downplay media speculation about Hayward’s departure, saying he “remains BP’s chief executive, and he has the confidence of the board and senior management.”
BP’s board would have to approve a change in company leadership. An official announcement could come as early as Monday.