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BP oil spill: BP says Tony Hayward to stay as chief executive

Telegraph.co.uk

BP has denied reports that chief executive Tony Hayward is to step down, as the company prepares to sell off assets to pay for the oil spill clean-up.

By Conrad Quilty-Harper
Published: 1:26PM BST 21 Jul 2010

A BP spokesman said Mr Hayward “remains in place and has the support of the management and the board”.

BP’s share price rose 3pc to just over 400p by lunchtime.

The Times reported that Mr Hayward would leave by October 1 if the spill had been sealed.

An insider familiar with the situation was quoted as saying: “[…] you would be hard pushed to find anyone within the company who does not think he is irreparably damaged – both by his own performance and the event himself”.

The report said Mr Hayward would announce his departure in late August or September, and leave before October in order to defend against possible buyout threats from ExxonMobil or Royal Dutch Shell.

BP denied these reports as it announced a plan to sell $7bn in assets to Apache as part of the company’s total committment of $20bn to cover the cost of cleaning oil from the Gulf of Mexico spill.

The embattled oil giant announced the disposal hours after putting $1.7bn of Vietnamese and Pakistani properties on the auction block.

BP has said it will raise a total of $10bn through asset sales this year.

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