BP boss Tony Hayward's gaffes

  • Published
BP Chief Executive Tony Hayward
Image caption,
Mr Hayward initially said the impact would be 'very modest'

In the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, BP chief executive Tony Hayward has been criticised for a series of public relations setbacks that have enraged residents of the Gulf coast and US politicians.

Earlier this month, President Barack Obama said in a television interview that Mr Hayward "wouldn't be working for me after any of those statements".

Here is a selection of what he has said and done to cause the controversy:

19 June

Mr Hayward takes part in the JP Morgan Asset Management round the island race on the Isle of Wight, sailing on a boat which he owns.

Mr Hayward is criticised by White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel for taking time off to go sailing.

In an interview with ABC News, Mr Emanuel says it has "just been part of a long line of PR gaffes and mistakes".

"I think we can all conclude that Tony Hayward is not going to have a second career in PR consulting."

A BP spokesman says Mr Hayward had not had a break since the spill began and was merely "spending a few hours with his family at the weekend".

3 June

In a nationally broadcast TV advertisement, Mr Hayward pledges: "For those affected and your families, I'm deeply sorry. We will make this right."

He also promises BP would clean up every drop of oil and "restore the shoreline to its original state".

President Barack Obama says the following day that the $50m spent by BP on the campaign and allocated dividends should have instead gone towards the clean-up operation and compensating devastated local businesses.

"What I don't wanna hear is when they're spending that kind of money on their shareholders and spending that kind of money on TV advertising that they're nickel and diming fishermen."

30 May

Asked what he would tell people in Louisiana, where oil had begun to reach parts of the state's south-eastern marshes, Mr Hayward tells reporters:

"The first thing to say is I'm sorry."

"We're sorry for the massive disruption it's caused their lives. There's no one who wants this over more than I do. I would like my life back."

The statement was particularly criticised given that eleven people died in the drilling platform explosion that caused the spill.

18 May

In an interview with Sky News, Mr Hayward says he is not overly concerned by the amount of oil that is flowing into the Gulf of Mexico.

"I think the environmental impact of this disaster is likely to be very, very modest. It is impossible to say and we will mount, as part of the aftermath, a very detailed environmental assessment as we go forward. We're going to do that with some of the science institutions in the US."

"But everything we can see at the moment suggests that the overall environmental impact of this will be very, very modest."

14 May

In an interview with the Guardian, Mr Hayward insists the leaked oil and the dispersant that is being released into the sea to try to tackle the slick should be put in context.

"The Gulf of Mexico is a very big ocean. The amount of volume of oil and dispersant we are putting into it is tiny in relation to the total water volume."

3 May

In an interview with NBC, Mr Hayward insists BP was not at fault for the explosion on the Deepwater Horizon on 20 April and the subsequent oil spill.

"Well, it wasn't our accident, but we are absolutely responsible for the oil, for cleaning it up, and that's what we intend to do."

"The drilling rig was a Transocean drilling rig. It was their rig and their equipment that failed, run by their people and their processes."

Related Internet Links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.