Defiant Hayward: I Was Spill's Whipping Boy

Says he was vilified for doing the right thing
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 30, 2010 8:20 AM CDT
BP Chief Executive Officer Tony Hayward, left, and BP Managing Director Bob Dudley arrive with other BP executives at the White House in Washington DC.   (AP Photo / Susan Walsh, file)

(Newser) – "I became a villain for doing the right thing," departing BP head Tony Hayward said in his first interview since resigning, complaining that he had become a whipping boy in the US because "people find it easier to vilify an individual more than a company." In the interview with the Wall Street Journal, Hayward said he did everything possible to take responsibility for the Gulf oil spill, cap the spill, and clean up the oil-damaged shore.

Hayward added that he resented the Obama administration's lashings but "understood their frustration." While the CEO has been demonized in the US, he's become something of a celebrity in his native UK, where he was greeted with a standing ovation at BP headquarters this week. Hayward will remain at BP in a low-profile role as a board member of the company's Russia venture.

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