The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

BP CEO Leaves with a Golden Parachute Covered in Oil

Aug 2, 2010

JP Morgan Chase and other big investors forced BP to get rid of Tony Hayward, current head of the company. He served as the public face of BP and took the flack after the Gulf catastrophe.

What upsets the big stockholders of BP aren’t the ecological and social consequences of the millions of gallons of oil spread over four states on the Gulf of Mexico. Their concern is the financial consequences. BP stock has fallen sharply and there are more than 300 lawsuits filed against the company.

Tony Hayward’s pronouncements were presented as mistakes. For example, one month after the platform explosion he said that “the environmental impact of the oil spill will probably be very, very modest.” Hayward also said the “quantity of oil spilled” was “very small compared to the volume of the ocean.” Not just awkward mistakes, these statements show his scorn for the social consequences from BP’s oil drilling – consequences not limited to just this one oil spill.

The owners of BP chose to get rid of their servant, and to replace him by a new boss who won’t be associated with the Gulf catastrophe.

That’s how Hayward got his job. Back in 2007, Hayward succeeded a former boss whose image was tarnished by a deadly explosion at a Texas refinery and a mammoth leak from the Alaska pipeline.

According to his contract, Tony Hayward will leave with a severance pay of 1.5 million dollars – that is, a year’s salary – and 16 million dollars in his pension fund.

Workers who get fired don’t walk away with such a sweet deal!