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US BP executive Bob Dudley to manage oil spill crisis
Tony Hayward steps aside as Dudley is appointed head of new unit to manage response and clean-up operation
Hayward, Dudley and McKay of BP BP chief executive Tony Hayward, managing director Bob Dudley and BP America chairman and president Lamar McKay after a meeting with Barack Obama. Photograph: Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images
Bob Dudley, an American BP executive, today became the new man in charge of handling the company's oil spill crisis, taking over from the embattled chief executive Tony Hayward.
Dudley will report to Hayward as the head of the newly created Gulf Coast Restoration Organisation, and will be responsible for managing the cleanup and evaluation of environmental damage in the Gulf of Mexico, the company said.
"In the near term, my focus will be on listening to stakeholders, so we can address concerns and remove obstacles that get in the way of our effectiveness," Dudley said. "And we'll build an organisation that, over the longer term, fulfills BP's commitment to restore the livelihoods and the environment of the Gulf coast."
BP said that the newly formed organisation will manage all aspects of its response to the Deepwater Horizon incident and the oil and gas spill in the Gulf of Mexico. That includes clean-up operations, co-ordinating with the US government and local officials, and managing the $20bn (£13.4bn) escrow account.
"Having grown up in Mississippi, Bob has a deep appreciation and affinity for the Gulf coast, and believes deeply in BP's commitment to restore the region," Hayward said.
Dudley, 54, lost out to Hayward when BP chose a new chief executive three years ago. His oil industry career began in 1979 with Amoco Corp, which merged with BP in 1998.
Between 1994 and 1997 Dudley was based in Moscow, working on developing Amoco's business in Russia. From 2003 to 2008, he was president and chief executive of TNK-BP, a joint venture in Russia.