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BP directors urge Carl-Henric Svanberg to resign

Senior BP directors want their chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, sacked after his mishandling of the oil spill disaster.

Svanberg: Working for BP no 'smooth ride'
BP oil spill ‘a tragic accident'    • Svanberg: BP is important for the US

British oil giant BP’s chairman, Swedish businessman Carl-Henric Svanberg, has been heavily criticized for his hiding and low profile during the Deepwater leak in the Gulf of Mexico.

A number of senior BP directors now want Svanberg, who has been the company's chairman since January, sacked. They claim his mishandling of the oil spill disaster has turned a crisis into a catastrophe, the Independent on Sunday wrote.

"This spill is a disaster for BP and the world. But it's been made worse by a breakdown in BP's own public relations and communications which have been awful, truly awful”, one of the directors, who were not named, told the newspaper, and continued:

“Mr Svanberg should be there with the chief executive, Tony Hayward, showing the world that BP is doing everything it can to clean up the mess, offering to pay the necessary compensation and be the public face of BP. He has left him out to dry."

Carl-Henric Svanberg, former CEO of Swedish telecom giant Ericsson, told the Financial Times last month that he accepted the company's reputation had been damaged by the oil spill. But he has also made it clear that chief executive officer Tony Hayward is the main voice of the company.

Another director told the Independent that BP's staff are fully behind Tony Hayward, despite some external calls for him to resign to take the rap for the oil spill.

"It's not Hayward, but Svanberg who should go," the director said.

In a chronicle, the newspaper's business editor Margareta Pagano asks “How far do we have to drill to find BP's chairman?”, slamming the Swede for his absence as his company faces disaster.

“Where is Carl-Henric Svanberg hiding? And, more pertinently, why is he hiding? The Swedish chairman of BP is proving every bit as mysterious as one of the characters out of a Stieg Larsson novel, while his chief executive, Tony Hayward, is being crucified by the world's press as the demon destroying America's coastline”.

Last Updated (Monday, 07 June 2010 16:21)


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