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BP heads call for Svanberg resignation

TT/The Local · 6 Jun 2010, 10:31

Published: 06 Jun 2010 10:31 GMT+02:00

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"The oil spill is a disaster both for BP and the wider world. But it has been exacerbated by the collapse within BP, its public relations and communication with the outside world that has been terrible, really terrible," a BP source told the newspaper.

"Svanberg should have been there, along with chief executive Tony Hayward, and shown the world that BP is doing everything in its power to clean up this mess, offering to pay the necessary compensation and be BP's public face. He has failed them."

The former Ericsson president has also come under fire for keeping a low profile, making only one appearance since the oil spill began a month ago.

"He should have been on the Louisiana coast together with President Obama, shown that BP takes its full responsibility for the leak. But he doesn't appear anywhere. It is a fiasco for us," the high-ranking BP employee said.

The source argues that BP's future is in the national British interest and Svanberg has a responsibility to explain the situation.

"He should move around, talk to U.S. senators, British ministers, the media, and explain the situation to them. BP's future is of British interest."

Pressure on BP CEO Tony Hayward has begun to mount in the wake of the spill and the subsequent management of the environmental disaster. The firm announced on Saturday that the responsibility for cleaning up the spill has been handed to an American, Bob Dudley, in an attempt to offset some of the anti-British sentiment.

Story continues below…

But according to the Independent source within the firm it is not Hayward that is the main focus of the anger over the ongoing catastrophe that several analysts argue could threaten the company itself.

"It is not Hayward, but Svanberg, who should go," the senior source said.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

13:12 June 6, 2010 by Decedo
Guess he decided to take a 'Swedish' approach to it (ie. no sense of service). That crap doesn't fly with the American public. The guy probably has a golden parachute clause in his contract anyway.
14:01 June 6, 2010 by rufus.t.firefly
As an American (living in Sweden) with ties to the Gulf area, my rage is inexpressable and my inability to do anything is causing heartbreak and despair. The grief and anger of the folks now directly affected by this still-spreading catastrophe can scarcely be imagined.

The loss of an absurdly high-paying position at a greedy, irresponsible, trans-national oil company is irrelevant compared to the scale of this mess. Not only in physical size, traveling unknown distances in both deep and shallow currents, extinguishing life forms at all depths and on land, but in time. This may not be over in human time, regardless of when or whether the monster is "capped".

How do you punish one of these greedy, arrogant a-holes for that? And in the long run, to what end? I'm not saying their not criminals; they are. Lock 'em up. But whatever punishment they receive will never be enough and only be a tiny footnote in the totality of this epic disaster.
14:37 June 6, 2010 by voiceofreason
He's not a politician, why should he resign. Oil spills happen all the time, ask Nigerians living in the Niger Delta.

Politicians are to blame for not setting and monitoring right standards such as is obtainable in civil works, electrical works etc.
21:08 June 6, 2010 by rufus.t.firefly
The fact that oil spills happen in many places does not justify it. Politicians are to blame, of course. In this case, they certainly share the blame with the criminally negligent actors of two or three different big companies, BP the lead among them. That there was criminal negligence has been established and is being further investigated. There will be prosecutions. Whether high-level culprits will be charged, remains to be seen.

Mr. Svanberg, if I understand this unclear article, is the Chairman of the Board of Directors. Therefore, one of his responsibilities is to monitor the performance of the executives with regard to procedure, profitability and, just as importantly, ethics. He was negligent in at least one of these corporate responsibilities. Therefore, of course it is appropriate and reasonable for him to lose his job because he failed to perform a basic function. This is basic corporate law.

Sometimes, if you don't know anything, it is better to refrain from comment.
21:37 June 6, 2010 by DAVID T
hmmm wasn't the whole thing an accident? we all put gas in our cars and have electricity in our homes so it's all our faults really - accidents happen - instead of trying to find a scapegoat we should concentrate on the clean up and learn from the past.
22:05 June 6, 2010 by manamann
Its called the Gulf of Mexico not the Mexican Gulf!
07:49 June 7, 2010 by rufus.t.firefly
David: to say that we use oil and should be aware of potential consequences does not mean, de facto, that what happened was not the result of negligence. It was. It was not purely accidental, i.e., beyond anyone's control, something that just "happened". At this point, sufficient evidence exists to suggest this.

Following legal procedure to investigate and, if warranted, prosecute liable or guilty parties is entirely proper, in fact, entirely necessary to the satisfactory resolution of the disaster.

Doing this transparently could both improve the safety of oil company conduct and restore a modicum of trust in the public.

Remember, there are vast cultural and legal differences b/t Sweden and the US. Swedish people are reluctant to assign blame, often a good instinct, but sometimes an impedment to justice and resolution. Swedish legal procedings seem opaque to Americans, where trials usually are conducted more openly, with the facts of a case judged by juries, and the law applied by judges.

In order for a trial to take place, numerous in and out of court procedures must first occur in a prescribed manner. Anywhere in that process, a case can be terminated by the judge for a variety of well-defined procedural or substantive reasons.

So, any legal process resulting from this "accident" will not be "scapegoating" in any sense of the word.
22:58 June 7, 2010 by nukes-free
To the third world countries, this is ur wake-- up call. Demand accountability and responsibility from transnationals that have no respect for interests.
02:13 June 8, 2010 by DAVID T

I hear what your saying but the oil rig, called Deepwater Horizon, was owned and operated by Transocean a Swiss-based company. Seems like they are looking for a scapegoat - why don't they go after Transocean? Because they don't have enough funds?
22:50 June 8, 2010 by rufus.t.firefly

I think three companies had primary involvement; Transocean, Halliburton, and BP. If my understanding is correct, the other two companies were subcontractors to BP. Therefore, BP, would appear to have overall responsibility. That does not let the other parties off the hook, neccessarily, if they acted with negligence or criminality. There are numerous ways to find and apportion liability (or guilt).

As you point out, going after the party with "deep pockets" is a popular strategy. In turn, that party will go after the others. In any case, there will be hundreds or thousands of lawsuits brought by private citizens, public entities and other organizations representing various interests. It will take many years to sort it out and the only people making money will be- well- you know.
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