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Sunday Telegraph: What they said

On Browne

Jeroen van der Veer, chief executive, Royal Dutch Shell

‘John made over a period of time a major contribution to the industry, and was proactive and advanced in his thinking’

Bryan Sanderson, former director of BP

‘He is one of the six cleverest people I’ve ever met. He is entirely motivated on the outperformance of BP and taking it up to be one of the best companies in the world. He is by far the best chief executive BP’s ever had’

Sir Mark Moody-Stuart, chairman of Anglo American and former chairman of Royal Dutch Shell

‘He is an extremely analytical and strategic thinker. He’s made some remarkable moves in the time. He’s played the hand he was dealt extremely skilfully. There were remarkable moves made with the benefit of hindsight with excellent timing’

Fadel Gheit, senior energy analyst at Oppenheimer in New York

‘He has an incredible track record, and it remained incredible until the last few games of the season and then his luck turned. But one should not have a short-term outlook. You must look at his track record, which is unrepeatable. Nobody will be able to duplicate what he has done’

Robert Talbut, Royal London Asset Management

‘I think it is quite convenient for the board to have Lord Browne around for six months to act as a lightning rod. He will clearly take the blame for those reports. . . It is quite sad that Lord Browne is likely to leave under a cloud after a period when he transformed BP. His legacy will be that he transformed the company from a bit player into a major player’

William Claxton-Smith, Insight Investment

‘I think Peter Sutherland sums it up. It is important that there is a strong team from which to make the selection, and it’s good that the uncertainty is over and it is resolved. I am sure the press will say “share price rises as Lord Browne goes” but I think it rose because the uncertainty is over’

Edward Bonham-Carter, Jupiter Asset Management

‘It’s all rather a shame. He has done a great job at BP. There is a tendency for people to forget about the achievements and focus on the problems. We can only speculate as to what happened – did he choose to go to end the uncertainty? His legacy is that BP is a much better company than it was when he took over. It is a phenomenal achievement. By and large, internally the company is a lot more professional’

On Hayward

A former BP executive

‘Tony is an outstandingly talented person. He’s more of a team player than Browne. With luck, he’ll be able to front bad news as well as good news’

Fadel Gheit, senior energy analyst at Oppenheimer in New York

‘He is eminently qualified. It is well deserved – he ran 70 per cent of BP’s assets and portfolio, he has mixed with heads of state, he is a member of the family, he has earned his spurs’

Robert Talbut, Royal London Asset Management

‘Hayward has been making the right sort of noises in terms of signalling a change of culture at the group. He is more prepared to listen, more inclusive, but one should not believe that that will mean he will not be a tough taskmaster. You do not get to the top of BP without delivering on the numbers’

William Claxton-Smith, Insight Investment

‘I am surprised that he is 49, he looks so much younger. But I am confident they have made a good decision. I think it is good that they got it out of the way. The next decision is to replace Byron Grote as CFO. Perhaps one of the candidates for chief executive who didn’t get the job could do it. There has been a bit of a log jam’

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/01/14/ccbrowne314.xml

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