Case Study

The Macondo blowout: Decision making in difficult times (Abridged)

5 pages
December 2011
Reference: IMD-3-2188

In May 2007 Tony Hayward became chief executive officer (CEO) of BP, the London-based oil and gas “supermajor,” promising to refocus company culture on safety issues. BP had experienced more than its fair share of accidents during its rapid expansion under Lord Browne, Hayward’s predecessor. Hayward had positioned himself as the candidate to fix BP’s safety record in the months leading up to his eventual appointment as CEO, winning out against strong rivals such as fellow board member Robert Dudley (former CEO of TNK-BP, the company’s Russian joint venture) and John Manzoni, head of refining and marketing. Yet a little over three years later, Hayward was forced to resign amid an environmental disaster triggered by the largest offshore oil spill in US history. What went wrong?

Learning Objective

Discuss management of a major crisis. Discuss the environmental disaster caused by the Macondo blowout and its economic and political aftermath.

Crisis Management, Corporate Responsibility, Board Responsibility, Oil Pollution, Environmental Disaster, Safety Regulations, Offshore Drilling
United States of America
British Petroleum (Old name), BP
Published Sources
© 2011
Available Languages
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