BP could announce CEO change ahead of half-year results (2)

17:44, July 26, 2010      

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Hayward faced mounting pressure since the start of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill in April, partly for his previous pledge to work on drilling safety. He was also criticized for going sailing on his yacht after returning to England from a period of tongue-lashing in the United States.

Dudley stepped in to head the Gulf of Mexico response after Hayward's return from the United States, speeding up plans for a BP unit that would be devoted entirely to fixing the damages from the Gulf oil spill.

He has enjoyed better relations with the media, although "it will take more than Dudley's calm demeanor and American accent to clean up BP's image," as Washington Post writer Steven Mufson puts it.

Dudley is now BP's managing director, overseeing the company's activities in the Americas and Asia.

He is a native of Mississippi with a degree in chemical engineering and an MBA from Southern Methodist University. He has worked in commercial, operating and corporate roles across the oil and gas industry for BP and, previously, Amoco before the merger of the two in 1998.

If his appointment as chief executive is approved, he will be the first American to run BP, which was previously known as British Petroleum.

The source close to the company said Hayward is expected to step down on Oct. 1 and leave the board at the end of the year.

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