Will Hayward’s ousting improve BP’s dismal PR?

The former chief steps down following a multitude of public gaffes.

Ragan Insider Content

The former chief steps down following a multitude of public gaffes

Perhaps the biggest question surrounding Tony Hayward’s stepping down as CEO of BP is … what took so long?

Ever since the April explosion and leak of the oil platform that killed 11, injured 17 and polluted the Gulf of Mexico, much of the story has surrounded Hayward’s communications ineptitude.

There are a lot of things a company must do within a crisis from both an action standpoint and a communication standpoint. Failing at either one of those can be catastrophic. BP should have realized long ago that he was part of a public relations problem seriously impacting the company from a financial and a public perception standpoint.

Much of what BP engineers tried to do to stop the leak were likely the right things to do, or at least attempt to do. But if others, like Hayward, are saying and doing the wrong things, guess where the attention will be focused?

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