Tuesday, October 19, 2010

BP (NYSE:BP) CEO Bob Dudley Implements Modest Changes

In the aftermath of the disastrous BP (NYSE:BP) oil spill, many have been waiting to see what new CEO Bob Dudley would do at the top concerning removing executives and putting new ones in place.

So far there has been somewhat of a modest response from Dudley, who has, for the most part, kept people in place, other than Exploration and Production head Andy Inglis.

Of course Dudley replaced former CEO Tony Hayward, but that wasn't his decision.

Many were hoping for a big shakeup at the top, but only time will tell if Dudley's strategy is the best one.

It appears he believes changing the company culture to being more safety focused is more important than simply getting rid of people.

Also it seems he is changing things incrementally rather than respond to the media uproar and emotion stirred from the oil spill coverage. That could be a smart move on his part, as keeping people in place that know the industry and who will respond to change is as good as getting rid of them and replacing them with people who they don't know and could be unresponsive as well.

In other words, Dudley seems to be trying to keep the company from entering into complete chaos, and permeating them with a culture of safety for the existing people at the company.

One thing he did do was to tie in safety to employee compensation for this quarter as the company revamps its overall pay structure for the long term.

The bottom line is it'll be considered a success only if BP's safety record improves. Period! If it doesn't, not only will other heads fall, but quite possibly Dudley's as well.

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