Ex-BP CEO back to multi-billion club

Ex-BP CEO back to multi-billion club

LONDON - Reuters
Ex-BP CEO back to multi-billion club

Tony Hayward, the former CEO of energy giant BP during the Gulf of Mexico spill, is appointed as the interim chairman of Glencore Xstrata.

Tony Hayward, who was the CEO of energy giant BP during the Gulf of Mexico spill and now the CEO of Turkish-British energy company Genel Energy, which has focused on the KRG region, was appointed as the interim chairman of Glencore Xstrata, a newly merged mining and commodities giant that is among the largest in the world. 

The move returns Hayward to the limelight at one of London’s largest firms, while Sir John Bond, the former chairman of Xstrata and British blue chips HSBC and Vodafone, suffered the ignominy of an 81 percent vote to unseat him.

Hayward, already a director, will fill the role until a replacement is found and will run the nominations committee, key as Glencore rebuilds its board. He is not in the running to take the job permanently.

The abrupt clean-up at the top allows Glencore a freer hand to restructure the $68 billion group as it begins a three-month evaluation period after the acquisition of Xstrata closed earlier this month.

Glencore was criticized in 2011, at the time of its listing, for its appointment of Hong Kong veteran and colorful former legionnaire Simon Murray as chairman. Analysts and investors questioned whether he could keep Glasenberg in check and represent minority shareholders. Murray was replaced by Bond after the Xstrata takeover.

CEO of Turkish-British energy giant 

Hayward is now the CEO of Genel Energy Plc, the largest oil producer in Iraq’s Kurdish region. He resigned from BP in October 2010 following the Gulf of Mexico oil spill, which was the worst offshore oil spill in U.S. history.

Hayward teamed up with financier Nathaniel Rothschild to create Vallares Plc, a shell company that raised 1.33 billion pounds ($2.03 billion) through an initial public offering in London in June 2011.

Vallares agreed to merge with Genel, which was once controlled by Turkish businessmen Mehmet Emin Karamehmet and Mehmet Sepil, now the president of the company, in September 2011.