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A day in the life of Tony Hayward

Some things will never change, such as the enduring appeal of shipping disgraced public figures off to the frozen north for safe keeping. Though the Soviet Union’s GULAG prison camp system hasn’t operated for decades, we learned today that BP’s board plans to send its soon-to-be-former CEO Tony Hayward to cool his heels -- and, presumably, other parts of his body -- in Russia, as a director of TNK-BP, a joint venture between BP and Russian oil barons.

I’m not sure this is what Hayward meant when he said that he wanted his life back.

Still, Tony Hayward won’t exactly be a 21st century Ivan Denisovich. This is more akin to what Nikita Khrushchev did to his political rival Vyacheslav Molotov, who was exiled to Mongolia to serve as Soviet ambassador instead of being sentenced to hard labor or murdered.

Hayward’s gig is better, even. He’s getting a $1.6 million payment along with a pension deal worth $17 million. Even Siberia can be pretty nice with that kind of cash. And TNK-BP isn’t exactly equivalent to the 1957 Soviet embassy in Ulan Bator. The joint venture provides a fourth of BP’s production. Which leads me to believe that BP’s board isn’t trying to render him useless so much as it’s betting Hayward’s cool, too-honest-for-the-24-hour-news-cycle style will translate better in backroom meetings with Russian oligarchs than it has on CNN. At least he won’t be starring in any more painfully awkward legislative hearings. The current Russian regime, I hear, isn’t into the transparency thing. Plus ca change.

By  | July 27, 2010; 2:00 PM ET
Categories:  Stromberg  
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How about job security and financial security for the rest of us? Moratorium on legal immigration. End student visas. End H-1b. Protect our know-how. Make corporate boards fireable immediately by shareholders for transferring know-how to China and India.

Employees of states who count on pensions may see them end with the current immigration that is busting Arizona and California.

Posted by: OldAtlantic | July 27, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Only in the US can you expect to sacrifice a 28 year veteran to the vagaries of an accident caused by a contractor. Large as this spill might be, Hayward is still a world class oil geologist. Incidentally it is interesting that the new face of BP has just been thrown out of Russia by not having his visa to run TNK-BP renewed. Good old Putin, he does things the old fashioned way.

Posted by: PilarFuerte | July 27, 2010 7:01 PM | Report abuse

Why is he leaving now that the Gulf is okay again?

BP just released some pictures of penguins, walruses and orcas frolicking in the clean waters of the Gulf of Mexico...Yeah!

Uhh...wait, penguins? Oh geez, did BP photoshop again?

FUNNY, check it out.

Posted by: eye95 | July 27, 2010 9:17 PM | Report abuse

BP insiders are scratching their heads at this one. Champagne Tony-as they call him-
was the reason BP previously got kicked out of Russia. Bob Dudley, new head of BP, actually had to work from an undisclosed location for personal safety reasons. Maybe there's a sotry hear for some real journaists.

Posted by: BBear1 | July 27, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

After being banished from the realm, Tony Heyward announced that he would be accompanied in exile by his fool, Touchstone, and his beautiful daughter, Rosalind.

Posted by: AlexRemington | July 29, 2010 4:54 PM | Report abuse

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