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Daily Telegraph: BP chief plans new faces and structure

By Roland Gribben
Last Updated: 12:20am GMT 05/02/2007

Tony Hayward, BP’s chief executive in waiting, is looking at further restructuring programmes after implementing a break-up of his exploration and production responsibilities as he vets new candidates for top-level posts.

The appointment of Andy Inglis, a rival to succeed Lord Browne as chief executive, to run the important exploration business has been accompanied by a decision to split the operation into two separate units.

Mr Hayward is anxious to have a new top team by the time Lord Browne surrenders the reins of office in the summer. He is said to have been looking at the merits of filling some posts with outsiders but wants to ensure the lessons from the critical Baker report on the Texas refinery disaster are reflected in other parts of the business as well as health and safety.

Mr Hayward is also unlikely to give little away about personnel or strategy changes when he appears alongside Lord Browne tomorrow to present BP’s full-year results. The market is braced for a slump in fourth-quarter profits to about $3.86bn compared with $4.9bn a year earlier, leaving full-year profits broadly unchanged at around $21bn.

Analysts are looking to see if Lord Browne, presiding over the announcement of full-year figures for the last time, will follow Shell in raising the dividend rather than offering another series of share buybacks to mop up surplus cash.

Another increase in capital spending is also on the cards amid renewed speculation that BP will trim its target of raising oil and gas production by 4pc a year to 2010.

Mr Hayward has been offered a place on the Tata Steel board after the takeover of Corus, the Anglo-Dutch steelmaker where he was a non-executive director, but is expected to say no because of the demands of BP’s top post.
 
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/money/main.jhtml?xml=/money/2007/02/05/cnbp05.xml

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