In his first interview since agreeing to step down from the helm of BP, Tony Hayward has given the Journal a piece that deserves to become an all-time classic.
For one thing, Mr. Hayward isn’t just unrepentant, he is resentful. “I became a villain for doing the right thing,” he says, villainously.
There are two other great lessons from the interview. The first is that he is speaking in the third person. ”BP can rebuild faster in America without Tony Hayward as its CEO,” he explains. “I didn’t want to leave BP, because I love the company. Because I love the company, I must leave BP.” Asked about the Obama administration, he says he disliked its daily criticism.
The other lesson is that his life in Britain, where his office is lined with photos of sailboats, seems to be excellent. On Wednesday he held the first in a series of BP “employee town halls,” where the standing ovation was so long and passionate that Mr. Hayward’s voice cracked as he had to say to his crowd, “If you keep clapping, I will cry.”
And whereas in Houston he sits in corner tables with his back to the other diners, he was recently at a London club where “a stranger at a neighboring table sent over two large glasses of brandy.”
So Mr. Hayward’s life treks on! After leaving his CEO job, he’ll join a BP board that works on one of the company’s Russian ventures.