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Counting the Cost
Beyond Hayward
A look at the BP oil spill and the man in charge of BP when the disaster happened.
Last Modified: 05 Aug 2010 13:37 GMT



So he is gone ... finally. Tony Hayward's name on the CEO's door at BP will be removed in October and for many it can't come soon enough.

Looking back, three months into an almost unparalleled environmental and corporate disaster, it is hard to believe Tony Hayward lasted as long as he did. 

My personal feeling is he should have stepped aside long ago ... probably after that uninspiring performance on Capitol Hill where he basically said 'sorry, I don't know what went wrong'.

It is true that people far below Hayward at BP were the one's responsible for what happened on the Deepwater Horizon rig.

But it is also true that in the corporate world, the buck stops with the CEO. He (or she) has to take responsibility, and also investigate things genuinely - not try to palm them off onto those in the lower echelons.

I also thought Hayward's parting statement was quite extraordinary:

"The Gulf of Mexico explosion was a terrible tragedy for which - as the man in charge of BP when it happened - I will always feel a deep responsibility, regardless of where blame is ultimately found to lie."

Now to me what that sounds like is 'I didn't do it, but because I'm the boss I should probably feel a bit sheepish about the whole thing'.

Surely it is not about FEELING responsible? - it is about BEING responsible! If you're going to take the big job with the big money, then you've got to expect people to come after you when things go wrong ... and you've got to expect to TAKE responsibility too.

Of course I say all this as someone who's never been the boss of anything major (other than my daughter, who truth be told is often the boss of me!).

But I also know in my job that I'm very much responsible for what goes on-air each week, and that you as viewers and consumers will pick me up on anything which doesn't look or sound right. And when that happens, the responsibility is with me.

Taking a break

So this'll be my last blog for a while. I'm off on holiday for three weeks, meaning other members of the AJE news team in Doha will look after you while I'm away.

Also we're looking at some changes on CTC. Clearly business and economic news is growing in volume and importance with each passing week, and indeed a weekly show such as the one we produce is just not enough.

So we're heading to the drawing board, looking at how we can increase our output, bring you the freshest business news, and incorporate it more into Al Jazeera's news production ... whilst staying true to the idea of "counting the cost" all over the world.

There'll be some changes for sure, and I'm not exactly sure how I'll fit into them just yet, but I'll be sure to let you know!

In the meantime, I'll be keeping an eye on my tweets over the next few weeks, so don't hesitate to get in touch ... just search for @AJCountingCost.

See you in about a month!

Counting the Cost can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Friday: 1430, 2130; Saturday: 0430, 1230, 1900; Sunday: 0230, 1630; Monday: 0830.

Source:
Al Jazeera
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