Reports: BP CEO Hayward negotiating terms of departure

LONDON — BP chief executive Tony Hayward is negotiating the terms of his departure ahead of the oil company’s results announcement, British media said Sunday.

LONDON — BP chief executive Tony Hayward is negotiating the terms of his departure ahead of the oil company’s results announcement, British media said Sunday. BP said Hayward retained the confidence of the board and management.

Citing unidentified sources, the BBC and Sunday Telegraph said detailed talks regarding Hayward’s future had taken place over the weekend. The BBC said a formal announcement on Hayward’s exit is expected in the next 24 hours; the Telegraph said it would be made in the next 48 hours.

The Sunday Times reported directors are “considering a plan under which (Hayward) would leave as soon as the ruptured well is sealed.”

Hayward has come under heavy criticism for his leadership following the April 20 fire and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. He has repeatedly apologized and expressed sorrow for the oil leak, but in May, he shocked some U.S. residents when he said “I’d like my life back,” and weeks later went yachting.

BP is due to release its second quarter results on Tuesday, and the board of directors is scheduled to meet before the earnings announcement.

Asked about the reports, company spokesman Toby Odone said, “Tony Hayward remains BP’s chief executive, and he has the confidence of the board and senior management.”

Last week, BP said the cost of dealing with the spill had reached nearly $4 billion, but that it was too early to quantify the eventual total cost.