BP has decided Chief Executive Tony Hayward should step down over his handling of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill and his departure could be announced in the coming days, sources close to the company said yesterday.


The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, reported that if BP’s board approves Hayward’s departure as expected, managing director Bob Dudley would be named to replace him as CEO.


BP’s board will discuss the timing of Hayward’s exit when it meets today to review BP’s second-quarter results ahead of their release tomorrow, the sources said.


“The details are being worked out,” one source said.

The London-based company could announce tomorrow that Hayward will stand down in the months ahead, after a handover period, the sources said.

However, the company is also mulling whether to hold off on announcing Hayward’s departure until the Macondo well, which has been sealed with a temporary cap after leaking up to 60,000 barrels per day into the sea, has been shut off for good.

A BBC news report said Hayward has been negotiating the terms of his exit and a formal announcement was likely within the next 24 hours.