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BP’s Haywood on way out

marciadottin, [email protected]

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NEW ORLEANS – Tony Hayward, who became the face of BP’s flailing efforts to contain the massive Gulf oil spill, will step down as chief executive in October and be offered a job with the company’s joint venture in Russia, a person familiar with the matter said yesterday.The person spoke on condition of anonymity because an official announcement had not been made by the British company’s board, which was meeting yesterday in London to decide Hayward’s fate. The decision is the board’s to make, and it was unclear if it had formally done so.It’s not yet clear what Hayward’s role will be with TNK-BP. He left the board meeting yesterday without speaking to reporters, climbing into a silver Lexus that sped off.BP owns half of the oil firm, which is Russia’s third-largest.Hayward was called back to London a month ago after a bruising encounter with a Congressional committee and has since kept a low profile.“We’re getting to the end of the situation,” said David Battersby at Redmayne Bentley Stockbrokers. “To draw a line under it, they need a new chief executive.”The BP board would have to approve a change in the company’s leadership, and there is persistent speculation that chairman Karl-Henric Svanberg, who moved into the post on January 1, is also likely to lose his job later this year.The one-day board meeting comes a day before BP announces earnings for the second quarter. That report is expected to include preliminary provisions for the cost of the Gulf disaster, with analysts saying that could be as high as $30 billion.