No huge surprise - BP announced today that Tony Hayward will be stepping down as CEO as of October 1st. After the disaster in the Gulf killed 11, falling stock prices, numerous failed attempts to stop the oil leak and even more numerous ill-placed comments and responses from Tony (including a yacht racing episode), it was inevitable a change would be made.
As I heard the news though, my first thought was to wonder if Tony asked to be cut loose, and if not, if he is actually pleased he is being released. After all, he'll get a $1.6 million dollar payout which is equivalent to about a year's salary, he'll be able to draw from his pension which is reportedly worth another $17 million and retain his rights to shares under a long-term performance program that could be worth a hefty amount assuming BP's stock recovers. Additionally, he is being recommended for a non-executive board spot over at BP's Russian joint venture, TNK-BP (which, depending on who you ask may or may not be a choice appointment).
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