Might as well declare a winner right now for the 2010 Force for Good's PR Disaster of the Year: no matter what crazy things happen the rest of the year, I can't see anyone or anything topping BP and its erstwhile leader, CEO Tony "Ironhead" Hayward.
Here's a quick recap on how Hayward clinched the award (never before declared before December):
- Just three weeks into the debacle (more than a month ago), whined about wanting to get "his life back." Note to CEOs going through a crisis of historic proportions: This is your life. Get used to it!
- In an botched attempt at showing empathy, expressed his deep feelings for the "small people" affected by his gigantic oil spill. That gaffe led to Hayward's being relieved of his managerial duties.
- Came across as clueless, defensive and not at all transparent in Congressional hearings. Tony, that was just the warm-up act. Now that they see that you make good theater, you're sure to be "invited" back for follow up hearings (and don't expect any more apologies from friendly Congressman).
- With the well still spewing tons of oil into the Gulf, Congress feeling unsatisfied with his testimony and Gulf state citizens in a rage, Hayward took time off to jet back to participate in a yacht race in the U.K. Bad form, Tony.
I don't see how any chief executive can ride out such a devastating string of incredibly stupid moves. Oh, and BTW, BP stock has lost half its value since the crisis began, costing pensioners and other investors tens of billions of dollars.
Do us all a favour, Tony; it's high time to resign.