Monday, July 26, 2010
In a none-too-subtle way, the board of BP has let it be known that it will throw over its CEO tonight and choose an American to run the company. This is a delayed response to a disaster that will define the company for the next 10 to 20 years or even longer. It has been pointed out in the news media that BP relies heavily on US operations for its revenues and earnings. The rumored American successor is now in charge of day-to-day operations in the Gulf. While this is a move to salve the outrage of the American public, it comes under the headline of "too little too late." BP has joined Union Carbide and Exxon as case studies of industrial disaster that needn't have happened. There is still an open question whether BP can survive this. Although the company has stated publicly that it can absorb the costs, that assertion seems hollow in light of the lawsuits and cleanup operations still to take place. An American as CEO isn't going to make those expenses go away.