To many Gulf Coast residents, five words doomed BP Plc’s outgoing chief executive Tony Hayward: ‘I’d like my life back.’
The words Hayward uttered some 45 days into the worst oil spill in U.S. history reverberated throughout the region and enraged Gulf Coast residents who watched their lives fall apart.
On the day that BP announced that Hayward would step down on October 1, to be replaced by U.S.-born Bob Dudley, residents offered few kind words for Hayward.
“Glad he’s outta here,” said Larry Hooper, an Empire, Louisiana, resident who ran a fishing charter business until the massive oil slick shut down about a quarter of the Gulf of Mexico’s U.S. federal fishing waters.
More than 5 million barrels of oil have spilled into the Gulf of Mexico since the undersea leak began. Triggered by an oil drilling rig explosion on April 20 that killed 11 people, the spill has devastated communities and fragile ecosystems along the Gulf Coast, killing or injuring countless sea creatures and coastal birds.
In announcing his resignation on Tuesday, Hayward said he did not think BP could move on in the United States if he was at the helm.