July 24, 2010 / 5:16 PM / 9 years ago

BP sticks to support for CEO Hayward -spokesman

LONDON, July 24 (Reuters) - A BP spokesman reiterated on Saturday that Chief Executive Tony Hayward had the full support of the board, saying the company did not comment on speculation after a report suggested changes in management were on the table for this week.

Sky News said on Saturday, citing unnamed sources, that BP (BP.L)(BP.N) directors were considering Hayward’s future and may announce his departure next Tuesday when they report second quarter results.

Hayward has been under pressure to resign as the British-based company battles to contain an oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

The Times newspaper also reported earlier this week that Hayward would step down within the next 10 weeks [ID:nSGE66K031].

BP had also firmly rejected the Times story.

“We are announcing our results on Tuesday. Tony Hayward is the chief executive of BP. He has the full support of the management and the board,” a BP spokesman said on Saturday.

Sky Business Editor Mark Kleinman wrote in a blog on the TV station’s website: “It now looks increasingly likely to me that BP will make an announcement about the future of its board and management in three days’ time.

“The strongest possibility is that that will involve the departure of Tony Hayward.”

However, the board remained in “deep debate” over Hayward and may instead say it plans to replace him at a later date, Kleinman said.

“It could instead signal a `review’ of his role and point to his willingness to step down if it is deemed to be in the best interests of the company,” he said.

Reporting by Tim Castle; editing by Patrick Graham

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