So what is Hayward’s solution? Primarily it’s to cut out the deadwood from BP’s overcomplicated management structure – improving clarity between roles, in terms of who’s supposed to be doing what, and empowering people to assume autonomy and take risks. It’s certainly a good start, and quite handy for Hayward, as the sweeping changes will allow him to imply that things had gone rather awry under Browne, and that he’s the man to sort it out. Much better than trying to follow in the footsteps of such an esteemed leader.
Next up will be to get production up to speed at its US plants, and perhaps patching up the company’s flailing reputation on that side of the Atlantic. Then there are BP’s slow-moving projects in the Gulf of Mexico. After that he just has to find a truly viable and sustainable alternative to fossil fuels and he’ll have earned a holiday.