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Tony Hayward was the CEO of BP when its rig Deepwater Horizon sank in the Gulf of Mexico, creating one of the greatest environmental disasters ever.
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Hayward attempted to downplay the spill, calling it "relatively tiny." But by May 2010, the oil continued to gush from the well, and efforts to stop the leak were relatively ineffective. President Barack Obama demanded that BP compensate victims of the tragedy through a $20 billion escrow fund, and set up a criminal investigation in order to explore the events that led to the spill.
Yet while the rig poured gallons of oil into the gulf in June,
Hayward was spotted enjoying a yacht race - a faux pas not easily forgotten by thousands of angry Gulf Coast residents. In July, BP announced that the well was officially capped but, by then, experts estimated that more than 92 million gallons of oil had seeped into the Gulf of Mexico. Hayward later told reporters the catastrophe was like "stepping out from the pavement and being hit by a bus."
In the wake of what environmental experts and political pundits refer to as one of the largest environmental catastrophes in history, and what BP experienced as a $17 billion business loss, Hayward was asked to step down from his post. Bob Dudley, an American in charge of BP's oil spill response unit, was tapped to take over for Hayward. BP currently plans to nominate Hayward as a non-executive director for its Russian joint venture, a company called TNK-BP. The executive also received a compensation package of more than $1.5 million, with an annual $500,000 pension.
Hayward is married to geophysicist and former BP employee Maureen Hayward. The couple resides just outside of London, England, and has two adult children, Kieran and Tara.
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