Nearly every major media outlet in the UK is reporting that BP CEO Tony Hayward is resigning, and will almost certainly be gone when the company announces its first-half numbers on Tuesday. The best writeup on this that I've seen comes from the Daily Telegraph.
It is now thought to be widely agreed by the BP board that it is only with Mr Hayward's departure that the company can draw a line under the Gulf of Mexico disaster and plan for the future. The chairman, Carl-Henric Svanberg, is now believed to agree that Mr Hayward should go and that BP needs to announce a root-and-branch change of operational culture.
An announcement could come as soon as Monday, with the only possible delay being concern over Heyward's severance package. The press as well as the Obama administration are likely to look askance at any sign that Hayward is being paid too much to leave. Hayward is due to walk away with at least £1.045 million ($1.6 million), but is expected to want more in return for leaving the company.
By all accounts, his most likely replacement is Bob Dudley, head of operations in the Americas and Asia. Dudley has been point man for the cleanup since June. According to both the BBC and the Guardian, it's already been decided that Dudley will take over, since he has the advantage of being American (he's from Mississippi).
Hayward will likely be the second BP CEO in recent years to be forced out because of one or more disasters. His predecessor, John Browne, had the ground cut out from under him because of disasters at Texas City and Prudhoe Bay and a dangerous near-miss at Thunder Horse.